Small grains and other field crops: Alfalfa is being cut for silage and green chop. Small grains continue maturing on fields. Later planted fields are still being treated for weed control. Corn continues to be planted, with some starting to emerge. Cotton fields are still being prepped and planted. Dried beans are being exported to Guadeloupe, Martinique, and St. Lucia. Winter grain fields that have been harvested for silage are being fertilized, tilled, and planted with corn.
Deciduous tree fruits, nuts, and grapes: Mechanical and chemical maintenance in stone fruit orchards continues in anticipation of the upcoming season. Cherries continue to mature and early varieties are expected to be picked within a week. Grape vineyards continue to flush out their leaves and bloom. Kiwi vineyards have beehives in the fields as well as boxes being placed nearby. Field crews can be found pruning vineyards, and thinning in stone fruit orchards throughout the county. Plum, peach, nectarine, and almond orchards have small fruit setting as well as more leaf development. Pistachios are beginning to put out fresh leaves. Pistachios are being exported to Israel, Italy, Spain, Turkey, Australia, Hong Kong, Norway, Belgium, Germany, Japan, Morocco, Mexico, Switzerland, and China. Walnut canopies are full of leaves. Walnuts are being exported to Greece, Morocco, Bulgaria, and Turkey. Almond exports are being shipped to India, Algeria, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Barbados, Israel, Germany, the Netherlands, Colombia, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, and Spain.
Citrus, avocados and olives: Grapefruit, mandarin and navel orange harvest were delayed during Easter weekend, then resumed back to normal. Bee apiaries remain in and around blooming citrus groves. Seedless tangerine groves remain netted to prevent cross pollination by bees. Mandarins are being sent to Korea and Japan. Navel oranges are being sent to New Zealand, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, China, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Korea, Peru, Chile, Mexico, Guatemala, Ecuador, Singapore, and Vietnam. Cara cara navels are being packed for domestic markets as well as exports to Hong Kong, Malaysia, Korea, Japan, and Indonesia. Minneola tangelos are being packed for domestic markets and exported to Japan and Korea. Lemons are currently being harvested and packed for domestic markets, as well as being exported to Korea, Japan, and Mexico. Avocado and olive trees are still blooming.
Vegetables, melons, herbs and berries: Strawberries are at peak of season and can be found at fruit stands throughout the county along with this season’s herbs and vegetables. The leaf lettuce harvest continues. Blueberries continue to bloom, and some are being shipped to Taiwan and Vietnam. Previously planted eggplant, fava beans, garlic, onions, squash, sweet corn, watermelon, and zucchini plants continue to grow. Planting times have been staggered to spread out future harvest times.
Livestock and poultry: Fed-cattle market held at $138/cwt. this week. Rangeland quality remains very good. Irrigated pastures are in excellent condition. Expected precipitation later this week should benefit rangeland forage. Some ranchers are continuing to supplement their livestock with alfalfa and oat hay. Bulls and butcher cows are still in high demand with the market going in waves.
Tom’s additional comments: Shipments of ornamental nursery stock continue to be received at local nurseries and stores. Nurseries are continuing to increase inventory due to the demands of spring shipments. Wholesale nurseries are shipping out more spring stock to other states. Processed bare root roses continue to be shipped to various domestic and foreign markets, but in smaller numbers. Roses are being sent to Arizona, Texas, and Hawaii.