SMALL GRAINS AND OTHER FIELD CROPS: Corn is still being planted as weather and soil conditions allow. Some fields are emerging. Winter wheat and oats enjoyed the latest rains, growth is excellent. Alfalfa is maturing and harvest has started. Ground preparation is continuing for spring forage and row crops. Cover crops are being incorporated into the soil.
DECIDUOUS TREE FRUITS, NUTS, AND GRAPES: Vineyards are leafing-out and some are in the early stages of flowering. Leaf removal is being conducted in some vineyards. Stone fruit has completed its bloom period. Immature fruit on early varieties is being thinned. New orchards are being planted. Cherries are sizing and some are starting to show color. Pomegranates and persimmons are producing flower buds. Walnuts and pistachios are starting to bloom. Pistachio nuts are being exported to Australia, Chile, China, Cyprus, Hong Kong, and Latvia. This season’s almonds are developing nicely. Almonds are being shipped to Belgium, Colombia Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Taiwan, and Trinidad and Tobago.
CITRUS, AVOCADOS, AND OLIVES: The harvest of late variety navel and Valencia oranges continues. Navel orange fruits are showing some grading issues. Navel and Valencia oranges are being exported to China, the Dominican Republic, Fiji, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, and Taiwan. Seedless tangerine groves remain netted for the bloom. Lemons continue to be harvested and packed for export to China and Japan. Grapefruit are being packed and exported to China, Japan, and Korea. Some citrus trees are being planted. Bee keepers are maintaining hives in citrus and olives groves.
VEGETABLES, MELONS, AND BERRIES: Squash and cucumber seedlings continue to grow in the fields. Greenhouse vegetables continue to be harvested. Strawberry and plantings are progressing well, with bloom and mature fruit being picked. Blueberries are being exported to Taiwan. Additional summer vegetable fields are now being prepared for planting.
LIVESTOCK AND POULTRY: Rangeland forage is in good condition, and recent rains will benefit the new growth of grasses and forbs. The fed cattle market is at $119 per hundred weight this week.
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Retail nurseries are stocking up on both perennial and annual plants for the spring season. Some mature olive trees are being dug for landscape purposes. Bare-root roses are still being processed and shipped to various states and Canada. Local wholesale nurseries are busy shipping nursery stock to local and out-of-state nursery outlets, as the demand for spring plants grows.
Prepared by: Marilyn Wright Tulare County Agricultural Commissioner/Sealer