Small grains and other field crops: Winter grain and forage crops such as wheat, oats and barley continue to thrive from all the recent rain. Winter grain and forage crops are being treated for pests. Next year’s cotton fields have been furrowed and are being left fallow until spring planting. Alfalfa fields continue to grow. Dried beans are being exported to France, Guadeloupe, and Martinique.
Deciduous tree fruits, nuts, and grapes: Pistachios are being exported to Japan, the United Kingdom, India, Israel, Spain, Turkey, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Australia, Italy, the United Arab Emirates, China, France, Colombia, Vietnam, and the Philippines. Almond orchards are in bloom. Last season’s almonds are still being packed and shipped to Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Germany, Turkey, New Zealand, Colombia, the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Mexico, India, Italy, Chile, Israel, Belgium, Malaysia, Korea, Norway, and Saudi Arabia. Walnuts are being exported to Jordan, Turkey, Israel, Italy, the United Kingdom, France, Norway, Spain, Vietnam, and China. Pecans are being exported to the Middle East, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Italy, and Singapore. Early plum and peach orchards are in bloom. Bee boxes are being placed near almond, cherry, and plum orchards for the bloom. Cherries are starting to bloom. Grape vines have been prepped and are being maintained for the new season.
Citrus, avocados, and olives: Seedless tangerine trees are being covered with netting to protect them from cross pollination by bees. Navel oranges are still being harvested and exported to Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Malaysia Singapore, Peru, the Philippines, Dominican Republic, Ecuador. Guatemala, Indonesia, Mexico, New Zealand, Panama, Vietnam, and Taiwan. High Brix and acid navel oranges are being packed and shipped to Korea and Japan. Mandarins are being harvested and exported to Dominican Republic, Guatemala, and Mexico. Lemons are being harvested and exported to New Zealand and Panama. Grapefruit were harvested and exported to Dominican Republic. Minneola tangelos are being picked and packed for the European Union, Japan, and domestic markets. Organic Mandarins continue to be shipped to domestic markets. Citrus harvest has stopped as precipitation continues. Harvest should continue as the weather clears.
Vegetables, melons, herbs, and berries: Brassicas such as cabbage and broccoli are still growing for local roadside stands in addition to some lettuce, garlic, and onions during these cold and wet weather months. Onion seed is being shipped to Brazil and South Africa. Strawberries continue to develop and benefit from the rainfall. Blackberries and blueberries are nearing bloom. Summer vegetable fields are being prepared. Black plastic tarps have been placed over raised planting beds and other fields have been disked.
Livestock and poultry: Cattle are thriving in the green hills as much-needed rain is still helping the feed. Moisture in the soil has stimulated growth and development of grasses in pastures and rangelands. Irrigated pastures have benefited from the recent rains and are in good to excellent condition. Continued cool, wet weather should help grazing conditions for cattle. The fed-cattle is steady at $156/cwt this week.
Tom’s additional comments: Nursery orders for some early spring flowers and ornamentals are starting to pick up as well as onion starts. Nurseries are replanting and receiving new nursery stock inventory such as, bareroot fruit trees and roses for the 2023 Spring season. Local wholesale citrus nurseries are shipping citrus trees, graft wood and seed to local, out of state, and international nurseries and growers. Beekeepers are moving into Tulare County for the upcoming almond and stone fruit bloom. Water continues to flow in most of the canals and re-charge basins throughout the county. Local nurseries have started to sell onion, tomato, carrots, and a variety of pepper plants, along with landscape and outdoor plants in preparation for spring.