Tulare County Crop Report for the week ending March 18

Small grains and other field crops: Alfalfa and triticale are growing in deep puddles from recent rains while other fields remain unplanted. Sudan grass seed continues to be delivered into the county. The wheat and oat fields continue to develop in all stages. The continuous rains are great for all the dry land farming. 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, and some are having water pumped off to keep plants from drowning. Dried beans are being exported to France, Guadeloupe, and Martinique. 

Deciduous tree fruits, nuts, and grapes: Later varieties of almond trees remain in full bloom, while early varieties are leafing out. Pistachios continue to be processed and exported in large quantities to Mexico, Turkey, Switzerland, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, China, Israel, India, and Poland. 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 blooming. Grape vines have been prepped and are being maintained for the new season.

Citrus, avocados, and olives: Citrus harvest is slowing down due to the recent, persistent rains. Navel oranges are being packed for the domestic market, as well as being exported to the Philippines, Chile, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Vietnam, Taiwan, China, Thailand, Singapore, Korea, and Japan. Lemons are being picked and packed for domestic markets as well as New Zealand. Mandarins are being picked and packed for domestic market as well as Japan, Panama, Taiwan, and Puerto Rico. Some orange trees are being topped and skirted. Cara Cara navels are being picked and packed for domestic markets as well as Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Minneola tangelos are being picked and packed for domestic market as well as Japan. Late navels are being packed for domestic markets.

Vegetables, melons, herbs, and berries: Cabbage and broccoli are still growing for local roadside stands in addition to some lettuce, garlic, and onions during the cold and wet weather. Onion seed is being shipped to Brazil and South Africa. Strawberries continue to develop and benefit from the rainfall. Blackberries and blueberries are now blooming. Summer vegetable fields are being prepared. Black plastic 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. Classes and weights are continuing to stay strong this week. The fed-cattle is steady at $156/cwt this week. Butcher cattle and bulls are in higher demand compared to recent weeks.

Tom’s additional comments: Some bareroot grapevines, fruit trees, and berries are being sold at nurseries, as well as seasonal vegetables. Bare-root roses are currently being sent to domestic and Canadian markets. Cut flowers are being imported from Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Colombia to flower shops.

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