For the week ending
Aug. 2, 2014.
Small Grains And
Other Field Crops:
Alfalfa is being cut, dried, and baled. Second crop silage sorghum is up and making excellent progress. 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. Sudan grass is showing significant growth.
Deciduous Tree Fruits,
Nuts, And Grapes:
Table grape harvest continues steadily, with Red Flame, Sugarone, and Summer Royal varieties. Table grapes are being exported to New Zealand, Australia, Mexico, and South and Central America. Raisin grapes are maturing, with harvest starting in about a month. Peaches, plums, nectarines, and inter-specific plums continue to be picked, packed, and shipped to both local and foreign markets. Stone fruit are being exported to Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, the Russian Federation, Taiwan, New Zealand, and Australia. Fruit quality and size are excellent. Tulare Giant sugar plums (prunes) are being picked and exported to China and French Polynesia. Almond harvest has begun. 2013 season almonds and pistachios continue to be exported to Argentina, European Union, Israel, and the Philippines. Cherry trees are being whitewashed to protect the bark against summer sun-scald. Pomegranates are developing in size.
Citrus, Avocados, And Olives:
Valencia orange harvest has slowed, and most packing houses are working minimal hours. Valencia oranges are being exported to Mexico, Guatemala, Japan, Malaysia, Korea, and Singapore. Remaining navel oranges are being sold domestically. Many growers on the east side of the county are buying water to irrigate their groves.
Olive fruit is sizing normally. The crop has been reported to be light.
Summer vegetables including melons, tomatoes, beans, peppers, squash, eggplant, and cucumbers are being harvested. Sweet corn harvest is continuing, with roadside stands open around the county. Processing tomatoes are being mechanically harvested. Fresh market tomatoes are being exported to Mexico, but most are being shipped to domestic markets.
Livestock And Poultry:
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 $2 to $157/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. Nursery shipments are moving primarily to local retail markets. Wholesale shipments are down due to the economic circumstances and the summer off-season. Citrus trees continue to be grafted over to new varieties.
– Prepared by Marilyn Kinoshita, Tulare County Agricultural Commissioner/Sealer.