Tulare County Crop Report for week ending December 14, 2019

SMALL GRAINS AND OTHER FIELD CROPS: Tilling will be minimal while fields are still wet from the rain. Winter grain plantings are beginning to emerge from the soil and are benefiting from the rainfall. Growers are hoping for steady rainfall in lieu of well water. Alfalfa harvest is almost completed for the year. In addition, most cotton fields are being shredded and tilled for compliance with the December 20th deadline for the Cotton Plowdown Regulations. 

DECIDUOUS TREE FRUITS, NUTS, AND GRAPES: Old stone fruit orchards continue to be prepared for replanting, while other orchards are being pruned. Peaches continue to be exported to Canada, British Columbia, and Mexico. Table grapes are being exported to Mexico, Vietnam, Taiwan, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Indonesia, the Philippines, Japan, Trinidad and Tobago, Costa Rica, India, Malaysia, Guyana, and Korea. Some late variety grape vineyards remain covered with plastic sheeting to protect the grapes from the rain. Walnuts are being exported to Italy and Turkey. Pistachios are being exported to Spain, Hong Kong, Belgium, Germany, Israel, Turkey, Cyprus, Jordan, Lithuania and Switzerland. Almonds are being exported to Kazakhstan, Cyprus, Spain, Korea, Japan, Israel, Jordan, the Netherlands, Taiwan, Bahrain, Turkey, Barbados, Colombia, Mexico, India, Hong Kong, and the United Kingdom. Asian pears are being exported to Panama. Golden and Red kiwifruit are being harvested and exported to Australia, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine, Vietnam, and Kuwait. 

CITRUS, AVOCADOS, AND OLIVES: Navel orange maturity is progressing ideally, with sugar ratios steadily increasing. The picking and receiving of navel oranges has slowed due to wet weather. Satsuma and Kishu Mandarins are being packed for the domestic market. Lemon harvest continues. Limes are being harvested and exported to China and the Netherlands. Buddha’s Hand citrons are being harvested and sent to domestic markets. Hybrid grapefruit, Melogold and Oro Blanco, are being exported to Korea and Japan. Olive groves are being pruned. 

VEGETABLES, MELONS, HERBS, AND BERRIES: Summer vegetable fields are being plowed, but field activities are slow-paced due to rain.. Strawberry growers are taking old plantings out and preparing growing grounds for new strawberry plants. Blueberries are being pruned and prepared for the winter. 

LIVESTOCK AND POULTRY: Irrigated pastures are in good to excellent condition. The fed-cattle price is at $119 per cwt. Stocker and feeder cattle are in high demand. Rainfall will help germinate rangeland grasses to provide feed for cattle and other livestock. 

TOM’S ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Rain will be propitious for many of the winter grain and silage crops. Also, snow accumulation will be beneficial for refilling local reservoirs next spring and higher elevation pastures. 

Prepared by: Tom Tucker Tulare County Agricultural Commissioner/Sealer

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