For the week ending, June 1, 2019
SMALL GRAINS AND OTHER FIELD CROPS: Winter wheat is being green chopped for silage; some is being dried, with harvest nearing completion. Harvested fields are being disked and planted for silage or other forage crops. Alfalfa fields are making excellent progress, with the rain providing an added boost. Local dairies continue to cut oats for silage and baled hay. Corn and cotton are progressing nicely. Newly planted fields of Black-eyed beans continue to thrive with recent rains.
DECIDUOUS TREE FRUITS, NUTS, AND GRAPES: Early varieties of peaches, nectarines, and apricots are being picked and packed for both domestic and international consumers. Harvested peaches are being exported to Taiwan, Brazil, Costa Rica, the Philippines, and Canada. Nectarines are being harvested and packed for domestic markets, with exports to Costa Rica, Chile, Canada, and Brazil. Apricots are being harvested as well, with some domestic shipments and international shipments to Canada, Mexico, and Brazil. Late spring rains and hail have stone fruit growers worried about the quality of fruit they may have available for export markets. Mechanical maintenance continues, with orchards being thinned, topped, and/or skirted for late variety stone fruit trees. Cherries continue to be picked and packed for domestic outlets. Intermittent rain has slowed down harvest and has growers scrambling to harvest fruit before more rain. Leaf removal is continuing in some grape vineyards to promote good air circulation. Walnuts and pistachios are still blooming. Last season’s pistachio nuts continue to be exported to Europe, Italy, Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates, Spain, and Israel. Almonds are still being sent to Japan, Korea, Germany, Belgium, Sweden, the Netherlands, Israel, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Chile, Mexico, Colombia, Russia, and India. Pecans are being exported to the United Kingdom and Israel. Pomegranates are starting to bloom in most locations.
CITRUS, AVOCADOS, AND OLIVES: Late navel oranges are still being packed for domestic markets, with some exports to Japan, Korea, and Ecuador. Star Ruby grapefruit are being picked and exported to Japan, Mexico, and El Salvador. Valencia oranges continue to be harvested and shipped to both the domestic markets and to Japan. Mechanical maintenance for citrus groves continues with orchards being thinned, topped, and/or skirted. Some older citrus groves are being removed and replanted with stone fruit and/or citrus. Olive orchards continue blooming with some pruning taking place to thin out trees.
VEGETABLES, MELONS, AND BERRIES: Summer vegetables continue to grow and the fields are being prepped for harvest. Early planted melons are being picked and shipped domestically. Zucchini is being harvested. Strawberry and blueberry growers are picking their locally grown berries for sale to the public and for export. Exports of blueberries are still being sent to Taiwan, Canada, and Thailand.
LIVESTOCK AND POULTRY: Rangeland forage continues to remain in good condition. Late season rains have aided in the growth of grasses and forbs. Forecasted rain in the upcoming weeks will provide an added boost for forage quality. Cool and wet conditions are benefiting grazing conditions for local cattlemen.
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Wholesale nursery shipments have slowed down, with less demand from retail outlets as summer approaches. Mature olive trees are being dug from groves and sold for use in landscaping. Bare-root roses are being sent domestically.
Prepared by: Tom Tucker Tulare County Agricultural Commissioner/Sealer