SMALL GRAINS AND OTHER FIELD CROPS: All cotton fields should have been shredded and disked to comply with Cotton Plowdown Regulations prior to December 20th . Inspections to insure compliance began on the 20th . Seed is being shipped in and planted to winter forage crops such as wheat, barley, and other cereal grains and forage mixes. Irrigation has been necessary to maintain growth. This week’s rain will be a welcome relief, but more is needed. Black-eyed beans are being exported to Malaysia.
DECIDUOUS TREE FRUITS, NUTS, AND GRAPES: Table grape harvest has been completed, with shipments of stored table grapes being exported to China, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Japan, Mexico, Panama, the Philippines, Trinidad & Tobago, and Vietnam. Pistachio nuts are being exported to China, Hong Kong, and Vietnam. Almonds are being shipped to Belgium, Colombia, Germany, India, Israel, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, and the United Arab Emirates. Pruning continues in vineyards, stone fruit and nut orchards. Some older, poorly producing orchards and vineyards are being removed and prepared for replanting.
CITRUS, AVOCADOS, AND OLIVES: The navel orange harvest is gaining more steam, with exports headed to Australia, Chile, China, El Salvador, French Polynesia, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Peru, and Singapore. The navel variety Cara Cara has shown increased demand in the Pacific Rim countries, with exports currently destined for China. Pomelos are being harvested and sold domestically, as well as exported to Australia, China and New Zealand. Melogold hybrid grapefruit are being exported to Japan and Korea. Lemons are being exported to Japan, Mexico, and New Zealand. Finger limes are being exported to France and Switzerland. Due to cold overnight temperatures late in the week frost protection has become a priority.
VEGETABLES, MELONS, AND BERRIES: Fields are being prepared and planted with winter vegetable crops. Strawberries are growing at roadside stands.
LIVESTOCK AND POULTRY: The lack of rainfall has left rangeland forage conditions in poor condition. More rain is needed to help with germination and growth of rangeland forage. Some supplemental feeding has been required. The fed cattle market price is holding at $120.00 per hundred weight this week.
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Bare-root roses are being received and processed for reshipment out-of-state, mostly to Texas. Nursery shipments have slowed.
– Submitted by Marilyn Kinoshita, Tulare County Agricutlure Commissioner.