Small grains and other field crops: Dried beans are being exported to Guadeloupe and Martinique as well as to national retailers. Winter grain and forage crops are being treated for pests and herbicides are being applied to the roadside. A few winter forage crop fields have been harvested for silage; however, most fields are being irrigated one last time and continue to mature. Various fields that were temporarily flooded along the Tule River are drying out and should be cut for silage in a few weeks. Cotton and corn silage fields that have been furrowed and left fallow during the winter are starting to be tilled and planted. Alfalfa fields are being cut for haylage. Alfalfa is also being cut, raked, and baled. Warm and dry weather this week will have growers continuing to catch up with pesticide and herbicide applications.
Deciduous tree fruits, nuts, and grapes: Later varieties of stone fruit trees continue to bloom, while early varieties are leafing out. Grapevine buds continue to open and are leafing 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. Pistachio orchards are starting to 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 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. Bee apiaries are being placed next to kiwi groves. Kiwi vines have started to bloom, and the vines continue to leaf out.
Citrus, avocados, and olives: Navel oranges have been slowing down this week. Navels are still being exported. Japan, New Zealand, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Ecuador, Peru, and Korea. High Brix and acid navel oranges are being exported to Korea and Japan. Organic mandarins and conventional lemons continue to be shipped out to domestic markets. Netting has been placed on Mandarins to prevent pollination in seedless varieties. Citrus harvest is ongoing with some Valencia’s being harvested.
Vegetables, melons, herbs, and berries: Blueberries are being irrigated and fruit is setting on plants. Blueberries picking and packing export to Taiwan, Vietnam, and Philippines. Strawberries are being grown, picked, and sold at roadside stands. 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. Watermelons and cantaloupe plants have been planted.
Livestock and poultry: Cattle are thriving in the green hills. Irrigated pastures have benefited from the recent rains and are in good to excellent condition. The fed-cattle price is up at $175 /cwt. this week. Manure is being cleaned out of dairies and used for compost.
Tom’s additional comments: Spring has sprung and with it comes warmer weather. The seasonal change has local retailers and nurseries stocking up on nursery plants for consumers. 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 retailers and big box stores are selling warm seasonal vegetables (tomatoes, herbs, squash), citrus trees, ornamental landscape plants, and stone fruit trees. Water continues to flow in most of the canals and re-charge basins throughout the county. Citrus bloom has been declared in District 1, beginning at 1 a.m., Wednesday morning, April 19, 2023. District 1 is primarily the foothills area. Also, citrus bloom has been declared in District 2, beginning at 1 a.m., Thursday morning, April 27, 2023. During citrus bloom, insecticides are restricted in and around citrus groves to protect honey bees.