For the week ending
Aug. 9, 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. Black-eyed beans are in various stages of development, woith some pods drying. Silage corn continues to mature and some fields are being chopped. Sudan grass is showing significant growth. Some fields that would normally be planted to a second crop are being left fallow due to water issues.
Deciduous Tree Fruits, Nuts, And Grapes:
Table grape harvest continues steadily, with Red Globe, Flame Seedless, and Autumn Royal varieties. Table grapes are being exported to New Zealand, Australia, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Taiwan, and the Philippines. Raisin grapes are maturing, with harvest starting in about a few weeks. Peaches, plums, nectarines, and inter-specific plums continue to be picked, packed, and shipped to both local and foreign markets. Stone fruit continue to be exported to Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Brazil, India, the Philippines, Taiwan, New Zealand, and Australia. Fruit quality and size are excellent. Asian pears are being harvested and packed for export. Almond harvest has begun in some areas. 2013 season pecans are being exported to Vietnam. Pistachios are being sent to Belgium, China, and Israel. Some pomegranates are being harvested.
Valencia orange harvest has slowed, and most packing houses are working minimal hours. Valencia oranges are being exported to Mexico, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Korea, and the Bahamas. Citrus groves are being skirted and pruned for insect control. Olives continue maturing normally.
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. Green beans are being harvested for the fresh market.
Livestock And Poultry:
Severe drought conditions continue to affect rangeland pastures. 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 increased by $8 to $165/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. Potted roses are being shipped to Florida and Hawaii.
– Prepared by Marilyn Kinoshita, Tulare County Agricultural Commissioner/Sealer.