Small grains and other field crops: Dramatically different weather has brought low temperatures with more fog and moisture to the county. Recent rains have proved beneficial for small grain silage development and have not affected growth negatively. Many farmers have not needed to turn on ag wells and have used the rain water as the primary source of irrigation. Some fields continue to be ripped and leveled in preparation for late winter and spring plantings. Feed grain is being exported to Japan.
Deciduous tree fruits, nuts and grapes: Weather permitting, pre-emergent herbicides and dormant pesticide sprays will continue to be applied. Stone fruit trees, including cherry, continue to be pruned, with the prunings being shredded. Cold storage kiwifruit continue to move to Mexico, Canada, and Australia. Grape vineyards are undergoing dormant pruning. The rain slowed down fieldworkers’ ability to prune the vines. Grape exports are shipping to Mexico. Pistachios are being exported to Israel, Latvia, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Italy, France, Germany, Australia, Taiwan, China, India, Turkey, and Vietnam. Walnuts are being exported to Turkey, Thailand, Singapore, Korea, and Israel. Almonds are still being processed, with some being exported to India. Pecans are being exported to the Middle East, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and Italy.
Citrus, avocados and olives: All field and harvesting activities should increase now that the recent rains have passed. Mechanical maintenance should continue in citrus groves with fungicide sprays being applied when the weather permits. Coastal grown finger limes are being picked and packed for exports to Japan and Switzerland. Lemons are being picked and packed for the export markets such as Mexico, New Zealand, China, and Australia. Pummelos are being exported to Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. Navel oranges continue to mature, with early varieties being packed for domestic markets as well as exported to Mexico, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Tonga, and China. Clementine mandarins are being picked and packed for domestic markets. Melogold and oro blanco grapefruit are still being harvested and sent to Japan and Australia. Some olive orchards are being cleaned after harvest.
Vegetables, melons, herbs and berries: Cabbage continues to be harvested. Fields continue to be prepped and planted with winter vegetables. Strawberry plants are blooming.
Livestock and poultry: Rangeland pastures are in good condition. The recent rain has helped produce new growth. Forecasted rain in the coming days should help grazing conditions for cattle. Sheep can be seen grazing on alfalfa fields. The fed-cattle market has remained at $135/cwt. this week. The market has strengthened over the past weeks. Branding season is nearing.
Tom’s additional comments: Local nurseries continue winter shipments of seasonal specialty nursery stock such as camellias and evergreen shrubs to local and out-of-state nurseries. Cut flowers are being imported from Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Colombia to flower shops in Tulare County. Bare-root roses continue to be processed and shipped in increasing amounts to various domestic markets.