Small grains and other field crops: Winter grain and forage crops such as wheat, oats, and barley are being planted throughout Tulare County. Alfalfa fields are being cut and harvested for haylage or being sheeped. Cotton picking is complete and harvested cotton is being ginned. Fields are being shredded and disked to comply with Cotton Plowdown Regulations. All fields must be brought into compliance prior to Dec. 20. Seed is being shipped in and planted to winter forage crops such as wheat, barley, and other cereal grains and forage mixes. Recent precipitation has been beneficial for winter grains. Dried beans are being exported to Guadeloupe, French Polynesia, and Martinique, and shipped to regional retailers.
Deciduous tree fruits, nuts, and grapes: Green kiwifruit are about finished with harvest. They are being stored and packed to be sent out to domestic and export markets such as the Dominican Republic, Australia, and Peru. Grape harvest is almost complete, with exports going to Mexico, Ecuador, Panama, Japan, Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand, Honduras, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Vietnam, the Philippines, China, and Canada. Grape vineyards that have been picked are being pruned and fertilized for next year’s crop. Persimmon harvest is almost finished, with fruit being packed for domestic markets and exported to the Dominican Republic, Panama, Canada, and Mexico. Pomegranates are being exported to the Dominican Republic, Japan, Mexico, Korea, and Australia. Pistachios are being exported to Israel, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Turkey, India, the United Kingdom, Vietnam, and China. Almonds are being packed for export to China, India, the United Arab Emirates, Belgium, Japan, Korea, Singapore, and Israel. Walnuts are being exported to Turkey, Israel, Italy, the United Kingdom, France, Norway, Spain, Vietnam, and China. Pecan harvest has begun, but recent rains have slowed some field activities. Pecans are being exported to the Middle East, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Italy, and Singapore.
Citrus, avocados, and olives: Navel orange season is upon us with oranges being picked county wide. Navels are being packed for the domestic market, as well as being exported to New Zealand, Chile, Peru, Malaysia, China, Thailand, Singapore, Korea, and Japan. Organic navel oranges are being picked and packed for domestic markets. Clementine Mandarins are being picked and packed for domestic markets. Grapefruit are being exported to Korea, Japan, and Peru. Oro Blanco grapefruit are being harvested and packed for Japan. Lemons are starting to be picked and exported to Japan. Limes are currently being harvested and exported to New Zealand.
Vegetables, melons, herbs, and berries: Fall harvesting is ending and fields are being prepared for winter and spring plantings. Lettuce, onions, and other fall vegetables are being harvested and sold at local Farmer’s Markets. Strawberry fields are being planted and prepared for next year’s crop. Sugar cane continues to be harvested.
Livestock and poultry: Irrigated pastures are in good to excellent condition. Non-irrigated pastures received rain recently. New grasses are beginning to germinate, but feed is limited. The fed-cattle market is up to $153/cwt this week. Cows and bulls are in high demand, and bred cows are in a higher demand than in previous weeks. Cooling temperatures have helped dairy cows in milk production.
Tom’s additional comments: Nursery stock continues to move into and out of Tulare County from other parts of the United States and Canada. Cut flowers are being imported from Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Colombia to flower shops in Tulare County. Local wholesale nurseries are finishing their fall ornamental plant shipments to local and out-of-state retailers. Local retail nurseries and big box stores continue to receive outdoor ornamental plants and houseplants from out of county. Bare root roses from Oregon are arriving and being inspected by department personnel. As the holiday season approaches, retailers are selling spruces, firs, and poinsettias. Fresh Christmas trees are arriving from Oregon. Local wholesale citrus nurseries are shipping citrus trees, graft wood, and seed to local, out of state (Hawaii and Arizona), and international nurseries and growers in Canada and the Bahamas.