Tulare County Crop Report for the week ending Feb. 26

Small grains and other field crops: Some alfalfa fields have been cut and harvested as haylage. Small grains are still in stem elongating stage. Short rains earlier this week helped field crops to grow, however, more precipitation is needed. Dried beans are being exported to Guadeloupe, Martinique, and St. Lucia. Blackeyed peas are being sent to Australia. Some field crops continue to be treated for weed control as weather permits.

Deciduous tree fruits, nuts and grapes: Cold weather this week could have devastating effects on stone fruit and nut trees if temperatures fall well below freezing. On early tree fruit orchards, flower petals have been falling off and young leaves are emerging. Other varieties are in full bloom. Late tree fruit varieties such as angeleno plum and August flame peach have not yet bloomed. Bees are pollinating local almond orchards. Almond export is going to the United Kingdom, Germany, the United Arab Emirates, South Africa, Taiwan, New Zealand, Israel, Japan, Korea, and Hong Kong. Walnuts are being exported to Greece and Turkey. Pecans are being exported to the Middle East, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and Italy. Pistachios are being exported to Israel, Italy, Germany, the United Arab Emirates, South Africa, Taiwan, New Zealand, Japan, Korea, Spain, India, the United Kingdom, Australia, Hong Kong, and China. Grape vineyards continue to be drip irrigated. Some grapes are still being pruned and fertilized with soil amendments.

Citrus, avocados and olives: Pomelos are being packed for domestic markets as well as Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. Trimming and pruning has started on citrus groves that have finished harvesting. Navel oranges are being packed for the domestic market as well as exported to Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Fiji, Cambodia, China, Malaysia, Vietnam, Taiwan, Korea, Singapore, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, and Mexico. High sugar navel oranges are being exported to Korea and Japan. Cara cara navels are being packed for the domestic market as well as some exports to New Zealand, Mexico, Hong Kong, China, Malaysia, Korea, Japan, and Indonesia. Blood oranges are being packed for domestic markets as well as exported to Korea and New Zealand. Mandarins are being exported to both the U.S. markets and exported to Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Taiwan, Japan, Guatemala, and Korea. Minneola tangelos are being picked for domestic markets and exported to New Zealand, Korea, and Japan. Grapefruit is being exported to the Dominican Republic. Lemons are being picked for domestic markets and exported to Mexico, New Zealand, China, and Australia. Lemons are blooming and other citrus are starting to put out feather growth. Growers are monitoring the predicted cold temperatures.

Vegetables, melons, herbs and berries: Harvest continues for farmer’s market crops such as basil, beets, collard greens, daikon, etc. Garlic and onion bulbs have been planted and are growing well. Blueberries are in bloom and growers are replanting blueberry plants. Bees have been placed in blueberry planting to help with pollination and plantings in hoop-houses have introduced bumble bees. Strawberry plants are developing berries for harvest in a month or two.

Livestock and poultry: This week’s rain and snow in the lower foothills are helping to keep pastureland vibrant and green. Dairy production is steady. The fed cattle market has stayed at $140/cwt. this week. Local cattle markets are still having a good run for middle weight yearlings, bulls, butcher cows, and bred cows. There is still a demand for butcher cows. 

Tom’s additional comments: Local nurseries are receiving new flower and landscaping shipments for home gardens for the spring. Roses are heading to Arizona, Texas, and Hawaii.

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