For the week ending
July 12, 2014.
SMALL GRAINS AND OTHER FIELD CROPS:
Alfalfa is in all stages of growth and harvest. Cotton is showing good growth, with fields in full bloom.
Cotton, corn, and Black-eyed beans continue to be irrigated and cultivated for weeds.
Silage corn continues to mature and some fields are being chopped. Corn is still being planted as a second crop after wheat.
Wheat straw continues to be baled. Sudan grass is showing significant growth.
DECIDUOUS TREE FRUITS, NUTS, AND GRAPES:
Table grape harvest continues steadily, with Red Flame, Star Ruby, and Summer Royal varieties.
Leaf thinning is continuing to allow light in and air circulation. Table grapes are being exported to New Zealand, Australia, and Mexico.
The stonefruit harvest is ahead of last season, with fruit being exported to Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Taiwan, New Zealand, and Australia. Fruit quality and size are excellent.
The majority of fruit is going to the domestic market. 2013 season almonds and pistachios continue to be exported to Hong Kong, Israel, India, and the European Union.
Walnuts are being sprayed with whitewash to protect from sunburn.
Hull split can be seen in almonds throughout the county. Pomegranates are developing in size.
Late navel orange harvest is almost complete. Some navel oranges are being shipped to Mexico. Valencia oranges are being exported to Japan.
Most packing houses are working minimal hours. Olive fruit is sizing normally. The crop has been reported to be light.
VEGETABLES, MELONS, AND BERRIES:
Sweet corn harvest is continuing, with roadside stands open around the county. Yellow and Zucchini squashes, cucumbers, Bell peppers, and eggplant are being harvested.
Certified producers are picking tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, and peppers for sale at the local Farmer’s Markets. Strawberry harvest is nearing completion.
Only a few roadside stands remain open. Blueberry harvest is slowing down. Some blueberries are being exported to Japan, Canada, and Taiwan. Blackberries are being harvested.
Rangeland pastures are in poor condition at the lower elevations. Feed costs for cattle producers remain high.
Due to the lack of quality feed, supplemental feeding is essential for range cattle. The fed-cattle market price was up $5 to $155/cwt.
New irrigation wells are being drilled or existing ones lowered due to declining water tables.
Warm temperatures are increasing the need for irrigation throughout the county. Grower inspections continue for Certified Farmer’s Markets.
Citrus nursery stock continues to be sent to commercial growers for planting. Some trees are being top-worked.