Small grains and other field crops: Foggy days provide some moist conditions for field crops to grow steadily and will help wheat seed beds. Winter wheat is being planted. Winter forage crops such as oats, barley, and triticale are also being planted. Alfalfa fields are being cut and harvested for haylage. Feed grain is being exported to Japan. Exports of dry beans are going to Guadeloupe, French Polynesia, and Martinique. Dried bean harvest is finished, some stalks are being baled for animal feed. Sorghum silage harvest is winding down, with only a few fields remaining to be chopped. Cotton picking is almost complete and cotton modules from the fields are being moved to the gins. Don’t forget the cotton plowdown date is Dec. 20 as usual.
Deciduous tree fruits, nuts and grapes: Stone fruit trees continue to be pruned and the prunings are being shredded. Golden kiwifruit are starting to be picked and packed for export to Italy. Persimmons are mainly being sold in domestic markets with a few orders going to Mexico. Table grape harvest is starting to slow down with only a few late varieties remaining to be picked. Late varieties are being shipped to Mexico, Thailand, Taiwan, Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines, Guatemala, Indonesia, El Salvador, Guyana, Japan, China, and Dominican Republic. Packed table grapes are currently being exported to Japan and the Philippines. Grapevines are entering early dormancy. Pistachios are exporting to Qatar, Hong Kong, China, Italy, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Israel, Egypt, Spain, Taiwan, and New Zealand. Almonds are being exported to the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, China, India, New Zealand, Japan, Korea, and Colombia. Pecans continue to be harvested and sent to Malaysia, Italy, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the Middle East. Walnuts are being exported to Turkey and Israel. Field workers continue cleaning mummies and dry branches in nut orchards. Pomegranate harvesting is at an end. Last orders are heading to Korea, Australia, and Taiwan.
Citrus, avocados and olives: Olives growers are harvesting and processing olives to sell in local markets. Navel oranges are being picked in large quantities and are beginning to head for export markets as the season is picking up. Export markets include Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Australia, and Taiwan. Fungicide treatments continue to be applied to citrus. Mandarin harvest continues with most going to domestic markets. Melogold and oro blanco grapefruit are still being harvested and sent to both Japan and Korea.
Vegetables, melons, herbs and berries: Farmers finished harvesting pumpkins. More leaves are growing out in strawberry fields. Bare root strawberries are being planted under mulch. A few fields continue to be prepared for plantings of winter vegetables.
Livestock and poultry: Fog has been providing moisture for rangeland to grow in good condition. New grasses are beginning to germinate. Cooling temperatures have helped dairy cows in producing milk. The fed-cattle market has risen to $130/cwt. this week. Cattle market reports butcher cows have improved this month and should continue. Branding season is approaching.
Tom’s additional comments: Fog has begun to set in this week. Cut flowers are being imported from Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Colombia to flower shops in Tulare County. Local wholesale citrus nurseries are shipping trees, graft wood, and seed to local, out-of-state, and international nurseries. Nurseries have stocked up on winter decorative plants and Christmas trees. Winter vegetable plants are being sold at local nurseries for home gardens.