For the week ending May 16, 2020
SMALL GRAINS AND OTHER FIELD CROPS: Winter grains such as wheat, oats, and barley are maturing. Some winter grains including wheat are being harvested for silage. Winter wheat is being cut, dried, and baled. Alfalfa continues to be cut, dried, and baled. Dried beans are being exported to Guadeloupe and St. Lucia.
DECIDUOUS TREE FRUITS, NUTS, AND GRAPES: Warm weather has boosted grapevine growth. Stone fruit season has begun with nectarines being harvested and packed. Early cherries are being harvested. Plums are being thinned as fruit size increases. Peaches are being harvested and some are being exported to Taiwan. Apricots are being picked and shipped to Canada and the Philippines. Walnut tassels have reached full length with a good set, recent rain has not affected the set for this year’s crop. Branches from nut trees are being cut for firewood or shredded and new nut tree orchards are being prepped for planting. Pistachios are being exported to China, Israel, and Belarus. Pecans are being exported to Singapore. Almonds are being exported to the United Arab Emirates and Japan.
CITRUS, AVOCADOS, AND OLIVES: Seedless tangerine groves continue to be covered with netting to prevent pollination by bees. Navel oranges are being sent to the domestic market as well as being exported to Chile, the Philippines, Ecuador, Honduras, China, Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and Peru. Valencia oranges are being exported to Japan. The export demand for Mandarins is fluctuating. However, exports are continuing to Japan, Korea, and Hong Kong, as well as domestic markets. Cara Cara navels are being packed for the domestic market as well as Korea and China. Lemons are being packed for the domestic market and also being exported to Japan and Malaysia. Grapefruit are being exported to Chile. Olives are being pruned.
VEGETABLES, MELONS, HERBS, AND BERRIES: Strawberry plants are producing and stands are open locally. Blueberries are being harvested, shipped domestically and exported to Taiwan and Vietnam. Spring and winter vegetables are being harvested and sold at local roadside stands as well as Farmer’s Markets. Summer vegetable crops continue to be planted and have developed well with the warm temperatures and adequate rains. Pea harvesting is ending with hot weather effecting production.
LIVESTOCK AND POULTRY: Rangeland feed is in good condition, however the foothills are drying as the season gets hot and dry. Fed cattle market reports beef at $95 per cwt. Irrigated pastures are in good to excellent condition.
TOM’S ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Nursery stock continues to move into 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. Plant shipments inspected at UPS/FedEx from Oregon, Florida, and New Jersey continue to be moved to local nurseries.
Prepared by: Tom Tucker
Tulare County Agricultural Commissioner/Sealer