SMALL GRAINS AND OTHER FIELD CROPS: Winter field crop season is wrapping up after a good yield in the areas that were not flooded. Winter crops can be seen harvested for silage around the county and some farmers are prepping their fields for the next planting. Wheat and oat fields are being cut, dried, and baled. Cotton and corn silage fields that have been furrowed and left fallow during the winter are starting to be tilled and planted. Alfalfa is being cut, raked, and baled. Dried beans are being exported to Guadeloupe and Martinique as well as to national retailers.
DECIDUOUS TREE FRUITS, NUTS, AND GRAPES: Grapevine are leafing out and bloom clusters are present. 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, South Africa, Malaysia, Korea, Algeria, 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. Beehives are being placed next to kiwi groves. Kiwi vines are blooming, and the vines continue to leaf-out. Cherries continue to mature and are near harvest, reflective foil has been placed in cherry orchards to improve color.
CITRUS, AVOCADOS, AND OLIVES: Navel oranges have been slowing down this week. Navels are still being exported to 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 cross pollination in seedless varieties. Citrus harvest is ongoing with some Valencia oranges 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 the Philippines. Strawberries are being 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 benefitted from the recent rains and are in good to excellent condition. The fed-cattle price is $172 /cwt. this week. Manure is being cleaned out of dairies and used for compost.
TOM’S ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Mild spring weather 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. Water continues to flow in most of the canals and re-charge basins throughout the county. Local wholesale citrus nurseries are shipping citrus trees, graft wood and seed to local, out of state to Hawaii, Arizona, East Coast and international nurseries and growers in Canada and Bahamas.