SMALL GRAINS AND OTHER FIELD CROPS: Winter forage crops, such as wheat, barley, other cereal grains and forage mixes, continue to be planted where the ground allows. Persistent fog and rain late in the week will reduce the need for irrigation. As always more rain is needed in the weeks to follow. Shipments of corn seed are being received in preparation for spring planting.
DECIDUOUS TREE FRUITS, NUTS, AND GRAPES: The last of the stored table grapes continue to be exported to China and Mexico. Persimmon harvest was slow, with export demand primarily to Mexico. Kiwifruit are being sent to domestic markets and exported to Mexico. Pistachio nuts continue to be exported to Austria, Hong Kong, India, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Turkey, and Vietnam. Almonds continue to be shipped to Argentina, Belgium, Chile, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Sweden, Taiwan, and Vietnam. Walnuts are being exported to China. Pruning continues in vineyards, and the brush is being shredded. Dormant sprays are being applied as the weather allows. Some field activities in fruit and nut orchards have been put on hold as fog and rain makes accessibility difficult.
CITRUS, AVOCADOS, AND OLIVES: Citrus harvest continues as the weather permits. Navel and Mandarin oranges continue to be exported to Australia, Japan, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, and Peru. Navel oranges are trending towards larger sizes, with some packers having difficulty fulfilling orders for the smaller sizes. Pomelos are being harvested and sold domestically, as well as exported to China and Japan. Melogold hybrid grapefruit continue being exported to Japan. Lemon exports are in high demand for China, Hong Kong, Japan, Mexico, and New Zealand. Finger limes are still in high demand, with exports going to France, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. Olive growers continue to prune groves.
VEGETABLES, MELONS, AND BERRIES: Fields are being prepared and planted with winter vegetable crops, but activities have been on the slow side due to wet soils. Lettuce continues to benefit from the recent damp weather, and growth looks ideal. Strawberries are growing well at roadside stands. Blueberries are still being brought into the county for planting.
LIVESTOCK AND POULTRY: This week’s rainfall will be beneficial for rangeland forage, but conditions are fair until more growth is seen. More rain is needed to help with germination and growth of rangeland forage. 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, with exports to Canada. Bare-root berries are being received at wholesale nurseries Nursery shipments have slowed due to the winter weather conditions.
Prepared by: Marilyn Wright Tulare County Agricultural Commissioner/Sealer