For the week ending July 31, 2021
Small grains and other field crops: Weather is a few degrees cooler than previous weeks which allows for better field crop growth. However, turning on irrigation systems is still needed to provide enough water for crops to grow steadily. Farmers are cutting and baling alfalfa. Sudan grass is also being cut, dried and baled. Growers are preparing fields for new plantings. Silage corn fields are in various stages of maturity. Cotton plants have bloomed and bolls are starting to grow.
Deciduous tree fruits, nuts, and grapes: Grape vineyards are requiring more water with the heat. Early grape varieties are being picked in large numbers. Table grapes are being exported to Australia. High temperatures have hastened the ripening of apricots, nectarines, plums, and especially peaches; therefore, the volume of harvested stone fruit has increased. Kiwifruit are gaining size as fruit matures. Peaches and nectarines are being exported to Mexico, Taiwan, New Zealand, and Canada. Plums are being exported to Mexico and Canada. Pistachios are being exported to China, Israel, Algeria, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Turkey, Hong Kong, Vietnam, the Netherlands, Japan, Switzerland, Brazil, Mexico, New Zealand, Poland, Egypt, India, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, the United Arab Emirates, and Germany. Almonds are being exported to India, Israel, Thailand, South Africa, Japan, Taiwan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Korea, Mexico, the United Arab Emirates, China, Chile, Barbados, the Philippines, Singapore, Lithuania, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Colombia, and Spain. Walnuts are being exported to Turkey, Mexico, and Israel. Pecans continue to be exported to the Middle East.
Citrus, avocados, and olives: Irrigation has been turned on more often in orchards due to drought conditions. The extreme warm weather has a lot of fruit going to juice and domestic markets. Valencia oranges are being sent to China, Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Mexico, and Japan. Late navel oranges are being picked and packed for domestic markets and exported to Australia, Ecuador, Japan, Korea, China, Cambodia, Mexico, Malaysia, Panama, Thailand, Chile, Peru, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, and Hong Kong. Cara cara navels are being packed and shipped domestically and to Vietnam, Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia, Hong Kong, and Korea. Lemons are being picked and packed for export to Korea, Chile, Mexico, Australia, and domestic markets. Blood oranges are being shipped domestically and to Japan and Hong Kong. Pummelos are being picked for domestic markets, and are being packed for export to New Zealand and Australia. Organic navel oranges, and murcot and clementine mandarins are being picked and packed for U.S. and Mexico markets. Star ruby grapefruit are being packed for the domestic market as well as shipped to Japan, Korea, and Taiwan.
Vegetables, melons, herbs, and berries: Local strawberry stands have closed for the summer. Farmers continue harvesting cantaloupes. Some local melons have been grown and harvested for sale. Spring lettuce, onions, eggplants, and herbs are growing well and being harvested for selling at the farmer’s markets. Certified producers are starting to offer early summer vegetables such as sweet corn, squash, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, and watermelons for sale at local markets and roadside stands. Bell peppers continue to develop.
Livestock and poultry: Extreme summer heat weather conditions are drying grazing forage for ranchers’ livestock. Ranchers are moving livestock to areas that have better grazing conditions and water. Irrigated pastures are in good to excellent condition. Non-irrigated pastures are dry and in very poor condition. Fed-cattle is at $120 this week. Some ranchers are supplementing their cattle with alfalfa and oat hay. Milk production has been decreasing because cattle produce less milk on extremely hot days.
Tom’s additional comments: Local wholesale nursery shipments are still going out to local and out-of-state retail nurseries. Nurseries are also replanting to increase inventory for fall shipments. Roses are being shipped to Arizona, Texas, and Hawaii.