For the week ending
Jan. 25, 2014.
Small Grains And
Other Field Crops:
Alfalfa fields remain in a state of winter dormancy. Silage, winter grains, and dryland plantings continue to suffer from drought conditions and are not germinating. Winter grain growers continue to report crop loss as a result of the December freeze, with no plans to replant at this time. Many fields that should be green with winter forage for the dairy industry remain brown and unplanted. However, irrigated wheat and oats continue to maintain growth while waiting for rain.
Deciduous Tree Fruits,
Nuts And Grapes:
Kiwi and grape vines are being pruned, along with walnut, pecan, pistachio and deciduous fruit tree orchards. Kiwifruit still in cold storage continue to be shipped to domestic markets and exported to Mexico. Almonds and pistachios are being exported to Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. The last grapes in storage are being shipped domestically or to Mexico. Orchards are being irrigated to make up for the lack of rain. PCA’s are expressing concern with the recent warm sunny days. There is the potential for early emergence of insect pests in stone fruit and nuts. So they need to be vigilant in their monitoring programs.
Citrus, Avocados And Olives:
Navel orange harvest continues, with exports to Hong Kong, Australia, Japan, and Korea. Lemon exports continue to Australia, Chile, Japan and Indonesia. Fruit from hard hit groves is being moved directly to the juice plants.
Growers and packers are finding significant damage in citrus groves with insufficient protection, and are trying to get a handle on crop loss. On a positive note, the damaged fruit is getting easier to detect, and packers are grading-out the damage. W. Murcott tangerines are being harvested. Maturity tests show that Minneola tangelos are still not ready for harvest. Last year’s newly planted citrus trees are showing lots of freeze damage
Fields are being prepared and planted with winter vegetable crops. Onion, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage plantings continue growing well.
Livestock and poultry:
Cattle continue to require supplemental feeding and nutrients. Drought conditions continue to affect lower elevation water sources. Any vegetation that was evident in December is suffering because of the drought and cold temperatures. Rainfall is vital to germinate a new stand of rangeland and pasture. The fed-cattle market holds steady.
Local wholesale nurseries are also shipping various plants to states in the southeast.
– Prepared by Marilyn Kinoshita, Tulare County Agricultural Commissioner/Sealer.