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. Alfalfa harvest is almost completed for the year, various farmers are allowing sheep to graze alfalfa fields. In addition, most cotton fields have been shredded and tilled to meet the December 20 deadline for the Cotton Plowdown Regulations.
Deciduous tree fruits, nuts, and grapes: Dormant sprays and preemergent spray activity will increase this week. Old stone fruit and nut orchards continue to be prepared for replanting, while other orchards are being pruned. Almond and pistachio harvest have ended. Older vineyards are being removed as grape harvest is winding down. 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. Pecans are being exported to Australia and Israel. Walnuts are being exported to Italy, Turkey, Morocco, and Jordan. Pistachios are being exported to Spain, Hong Kong, Singapore, Belgium, Germany, Israel, Turkey, Cyprus, Jordan, Lithuania, Switzerland, Ukraine, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, China, and the United Arab Emirates. 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. Persimmons are being picked, packed and exported to Mexico and the Dominican Republic. 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 oranges continue to mature and achieve color as temperatures in the valley drop. Navel oranges are being exported to Malaysia, Peru, China, Korea, Japan, the Dominican Republic, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Mexico, Australia, and New Zealand. The picking and receiving of navel oranges has slowed due to wet weather. Grapefruit are being exported to the Dominican Republic. Blood oranges are being packed for domestic markets. Satsuma and Kishu Mandarins are being packed for the domestic market. Organic Clementine Mandarins are being picked and packed for U.S. and Mexico markets. 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. Winter vegetables are in various stages of growth. Strawberries are progressing well. Blueberries are being pruned and prepared for the winter.
Livestock and poultry: Irrigated pastures are in good to excellent condition. The cattle market continues to hold at average prices for feeders and stockers. Fed-cattle market reports beef at $119 cwt. Rainfall will help germinate rangeland grasses to provide feed for cattle and other livestock.
Tom’s additional comments: Winter rains are coming again this weekend. The snow accumulation will be beneficial for refilling local reservoirs next spring and higher elevation pastures. Local nurseries have an increased demand for bare root trees and berries.
Prepared by: Tom Tucker, Tulare County Agricultural Commissioner/Sealer