For the week ending September 11, 2021
Small grains and other field crops: Alfalfa is being cut and drying in fields for baling. Manure is being applied to corn fields that were harvested. Some silage corn is still being irrigated.. Other rotational crops are remaining fallow after the chop. Some crops have already been seen chopped for silage and others drying out ready to do the same. Cotton fields are showing boll development, with some bolls cracking.
Deciduous tree fruits, nuts, and grapes: Harvesting and packing of peaches, nectarines, and plums continue but has slowed down somewhat. Reflective tarps are being placed out in some late nectarine and peach orchards to improve fruit color. Plums continue to be sent to China, Canada, Australia, Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, and Mexico. Peaches are being exported to Canada, Australia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Taiwan, the Philippines, Thailand, and El Salvador. Nectarines are being exported to Australia, Taiwan, Canada, Australia, Chile, and El Salvador. Orchard surveys for the United States to Mexico export program continue. Raisin grape harvest is continuing and the grape bunches are being laid down on special paper in the vineyards to dry. Table grapes continue to show high sugar levels. Grapes are being shipped to China, Indonesia, Guatemala, Thailand, Ecuador, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Honduras, Chile, Dominican Republic, Qatar, El Salvador, the Philippines, Mexico, Costa Rica, Vietnam, Canada, and Australia. Pomegranate harvest is underway with mostly domestic sales and some export to Australia. Pistachios are being exported to Israel, Italy, Spain, Turkey, China, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. Walnuts are being shaken and windrowed. Almonds are being exported to India, China, Korea, Japan, and Taiwan.
Citrus, avocados, and olives: Young avocado trees are being received and planted in fields. Immature olives continue to develop and increase in size. Lemons are being picked and packed for export to Mexico and domestic markets. Irrigation is top priority for citrus growers. Valencia oranges continue to be harvested, packed, and sent mainly to domestic markets. A few loads of valencia oranges are still being exported to Mexico every week. Citrus trees are seen being pushed out in groves. Citrus groves continue to be sprayed with sunscreen protectant to keep foliage and fruit from being sunburned.
Vegetables, melons, herbs, and berries: Most local farms are preparing the soil for fall plantings, including discing and fertilization. The high temperatures will delay planting until cooler temperatures. Field planted eggplants, zucchinis, squash, hot peppers, and tomatoes continue to be harvested. Farmers continue harvesting cantaloupes. Onions, eggplants, and herbs are growing well and being harvested for selling at the farmer’s markets. Strawberry growers are continuing to treat their growing grounds for fall plantings.
Livestock and poultry: The need for water is still an issue as the triple digits continue. Ranchers are moving livestock to areas that have better grazing conditions and water. Light and middle weight cattle continue to dominate the local market. The cattle market continues to see higher prices for the cattle with vaccinations and good breeding. Irrigated pastures are in good to excellent condition. Non-irrigated pastures are dry and in very poor condition. The fed-cattle market has risen even more from recent weeks to now $123/cwt. Ranchers are continuing to supplement feed and water.
Tom’s additional comments: Nursery stock continues to move into and out of Tulare County from other parts of the U.S. and Canada. Cut flowers are being imported from Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Colombia to local flower shops in Tulare County. Incoming plant shipments are being inspected at shipping companies in Visalia.