SMALL GRAINS AND OTHER FIELD CROPS: Winter grain plantings are in different stages of growth. Some wheat, oats, and barley fields are being treated for weed control. Various farmers are allowing sheep to graze alfalfa fields. Dried beans are being exported to the United Kingdom, St. Lucia, and the Dominican Republic. Winter rainfall has slowed, some farmers are starting to pump ground water to maximize crop growing potential and total tonnage.
DECIDUOUS TREE FRUITS, NUTS, AND GRAPES: Pruning is ongoing in stone fruit and olive orchards. Some early varieties of stone fruit are starting to bud-out. Bee hives are starting to be placed near almond orchards. Fertilizer applications have begun in pistachio and almond orchards. Pistachios are being exported to Israel, Italy, Spain, Turkey, Portugal, Australia, China, Korea, Poland, Germany, India, the Philippines, and Thailand. Almonds are being exported to Korea, Israel, Taiwan, Colombia, India, Japan, Germany, South Africa, Indonesia, Chile, Barbados, Belgium, and Turkey. Table grapes are being exported to Mexico, the Philippines, Japan, Vietnam, China, and Taiwan. Grape vineyards are being pruned and planted with cover crops. Walnuts are being exported to Italy, Turkey, and Morocco. Branches from nut trees are being cut for firewood or shredded. Pecans are being exported to Australia and Israel. Kiwifruit is being exported to Japan.
CITRUS, AVOCADOS, AND OLIVES: Local citrus packing houses are receiving navel oranges. Navel oranges are being exported to Malaysia, Peru, China, Korea, Japan, the Dominican Republic, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Mexico, Vietnam, Chile, Ecuador, Australia, and New Zealand. Cara Cara navels are being picked and packed for export to China, Korea, and New Zealand. Pummelos are starting to be picked and packed for both domestic markets and exported to Japan, New Zealand, and Australia. Fruit Cocktail grapefruit are being picked and packed for export to Japan. Mandarins are being exported to Australia and Panama. Blood oranges are being packed for domestic markets and exported to New Zealand. Lemons are being exported to Korea, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, and Mexico. Finger limes are being picked to be exported to China, the Netherlands, and Switzerland.
VEGETABLES, MELONS, HERBS, AND BERRIES: Winter vegetables are in various stages of growth. Certified producers are planting winter vegetables. Blueberries are being pruned and prepared for the winter. Strawberries continue to progress well.
LIVESTOCK AND POULTRY: Rangeland grasses have germinated and are growing well. Irrigated pastures are in good to excellent condition. Non-irrigated pastures are in better condition from the recent rains which have been a great benefit for the rangeland forage. Local cattle ranchers are welcoming the new growth of winter grass in the foothills that will help feed their range cattle this spring. Fed-cattle price is at $124 per cwt.
TOM’S ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Nursery stock continues to move in and out of Tulare County from other parts of the United States and Canada. Cut flowers are being imported from Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Colombia to flower shops in Tulare County. Ground water storage basins in parts of Tulare County are beginning to fill with runoff.
Prepared by: Tom Tucker Tulare County Agricultural Commissioner/Sealer