Tulare County Crop Report for the week ending April 15

Small grains and other field crops: Winter wheat is being prepped for harvest as flooded fields are drying. Fields are being plowed and disced in preparation for planting. Some spring planting has started. Various fields that were temporarily flooded along the Tule River are drying out and should be cut for silage in a few weeks. Winter wheat, oats, and barley continue to grow, numerous fields have been damaged due to excess rain. Alfalfa is doing well but the recent rain has caused some delay in cutting and drying for hay. Fields are being prepared for corn and cotton. Winter grain and forage crops are being treated for pests. Dryer weather this week will allow growers to catch up with pesticide and herbicide applications. Dried beans are being exported to France, Guadeloupe, and Martinique. 

Deciduous tree fruits, nuts, and grapes: Later varieties of stone fruit trees continue to bloom, while early varieties are leafing out. The rainy weather appears to have negatively affected almond pollination the most, followed by early-variety plums. Grapevine buds continue to open and are starting to leaf out. Last season’s 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 have begun to tassel. Walnuts are being exported to Jordan, Turkey, Israel, Italy, the United Kingdom, France, Norway, Spain, Vietnam, and China. Pecans are also tasseling and leafing out, and being exported to the Middle East, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Italy, and Singapore.

Citrus, avocados, and olives: 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 Japan. Mandarins are being picked and packed for domestic market as well as Peru, Japan, Taiwan, and New Zealand. Some orange trees are being topped and skirted. Some mature olive trees are being dug for ornamental use. Organic navels being sent to domestic markets as well as Japan and Taiwan. Olive trees are being trimmed. Cara Cara’s are being picked and packed for domestic markets as well as Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Minneola tangelos are being picked and packed for domestic market as well as Peru, Taiwan, and Japan. Late Navels are being packed for domestic market as well as Japan and Taiwan.

Vegetables, melons, herbs, and berries: Strawberries are nearing the usual harvest time, but the recent weather has presented challenges. Blackberries and blueberries are blooming. Some cucumbers and zucchini are being planted as well as some other leafy greens. Cabbage and broccoli are still growing at local roadside stands in addition to some lettuce, garlic, and onions. Onion seed is being shipped to Brazil and South Africa. Tomatoes are being planted.

Livestock and poultry: Cattle are thriving in the green hills, as much-needed rain is still stimulating growth. Irrigated pastures have benefited from the recent rains and are in good to excellent condition. Classes and weights are continuing to stay strong this week. The fed-cattle prices are up to $168 /cwt. this week. 

Tom’s additional comments: Bareroot grapevines, fruit trees, and berries are arriving at nurseries, as well as seasonal vegetables. Bare root roses are currently being sent to domestic markets, Puerto Rico, and Canada. Cut flowers are being imported from Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Colombia to flower shops. Local wholesale citrus nurseries are shipping citrus trees, graft wood and seed to local, Hawaii and Arizona, and international nurseries and growers in Canada and the Bahamas.

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