For the week ending
Aug. 17, 2013.
Small Grains And
Other Field Crops:
Weather conditions have been very favorable for crops. Beans, silage corn and Sudan grass are showing good growth. Black-eye bean fields are continuing to mature. Early plantings of silage corn are being harvested, and Sudan grass is being cut and baling continues. Alfalfa fields continue to be cut and baled, with good drying conditions. Cotton fields are maturing with increasing boll set.
Deciduous Tree Fruits,
Nuts, And Grapes:
Peaches, nectarines, and plums continue to be harvested. The domestic demand and prices for stone fruit remains steady. Exports continue to Australia, Canada, China, Mexico, New Zealand, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Thailand. Harvested stone fruit orchards continue being topped.
Grape maturity, color, and berry size continue to increase. Flame Seedless, Summer Royal, Sugarone, Sweet Sunshine, Thompson Seedless, and Princess are being harvested for fresh table grapes. Grapevines continue to be trained and pruned to increase light penetration and enhance fruit color. Kiwifruit continue sizing normally. Pomegranate fruit continue to develop in size and maturity. Some harvesting has started. Cooler temperatures are helping to reduce heat injury to grape berries and plums. Almond harvest is well underway in Tulare County.
Valencia orange harvest continues, with over 85% of the crop harvested. Re-greening of the Valencia orange crop continues to be an issue. Export quality fruit has diminished, along with exports. Shipments continue to be sent to both domestic and foreign markets. Exports are still being sent to Mexico, Japan, and Korea. Growers continue irrigating and skirting citrus groves.
Olive fruit continue sizing normally, with a heavy set observed in some orchards.
Herbs, And Berries:
Tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, squash, pepper, and beans continue to be picked for sale at local Farmer’s Markets.
Livestock And Poultry:
Range conditions are very dry, with little forage for cattle to feed on. Supplemental feeding of hay and grain continue for cattle at the lower elevations. Herds have been reduced to manage cattle in a short-feed situation. Available water at lower elevations continues to decline because of the looming drought conditions. Upper elevation pastures are still in pretty good condition, with sufficient feed and water
Shipments from local wholesale nurseries are down due to the summer heat and dwindling plant inventories. New irrigation wells are being drilled due to lower water tables.
-Prepared by Marilyn Kinoshita, Tulare County Agricultural Commissioner/Sealer.