SMALL GRAINS AND OTHER FIELD CROPS: Winter wheat is being green-chopped for silage; some is being dried, with harvest nearing completion. Harvested fields are being disked and planted to silage or other forage crops. Alfalfa fields are making excellent progress; and being cut, dried, and baled. Corn continues being planted, and earlier planted fields are growing well. Local dairies continue to cut oats for silage and baled hay. Cotton continues to germinate and grow well. Newly planted fields of Black-eyed beans are starting to germinate. Recent rains are helping their growth.
DECIDUOUS TREE FRUITS, NUTS, AND GRAPES: Late spring rains and hail have stone fruit growers worried about the quality of fruit they may have available for export markets. Early varieties of peaches, nectarines and apricots are being picked and packed for both domestic and international consumers. Harvested peaches are being exported to Taiwan, Brazil, Costa Rica, the Philippines, and Canada. Nectarines are being harvested and packed for domestic markets, with exports to Costa Rica, Canada, and Brazil. Apricots are being harvested as well, with some domestic shipments and exports to Canada and the Philippines. . Hand-thinning of late variety stone fruit trees is continuing. Cherries continue to be picked and packed for domestic outlets. Intermittent rain has slowed down harvest. Walnuts and pistachios are still blooming. Last season’s pistachio nuts continue to be exported to Europe, Italy, Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates, Spain, and Israel. Almonds are still being sent to Japan, Korea, Germany, Belgium, Sweden, the Netherlands, Israel, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Chile, Mexico, Colombia, Russia, and India. Pecans are being exported to the United Kingdom and Israel. Pomegranates are starting to bloom in most locations.
CITRUS, AVOCADOS, AND OLIVES: Late navel oranges are still being packed for domestic markets, with some exports to Japan, China, Taiwan, and the Dominican Republic. Star Ruby grapefruit are being picked and exported to Japan, Mexico, Panama, El Salvador, and Korea. Grapefruit harvest is expected to slow down. Valencia oranges continue to be harvested and exported for both the domestic and international markets. International exports for Valencia’s continue to Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Japan. Seedless tangerine groves remain netted for the duration of bloom. Mechanical maintenance for citrus groves continues with orchards being thinned, topped, and/or skirted. Lemons continue to be harvested for domestic markets. Lemons are being exported to Japan, Korea, and Mexico. Olive orchards are in full bloom, with some pruning taking place to thin out the trees.
VEGETABLES, MELONS, AND BERRIES: Summer vegetables continue to grow and the fields are being prepped for harvest. Early planted melons are being picked and shipped domestically. Zucchini is being harvested. Strawberry and blueberry growers are picking their locally grown berries for sale to the public and for export. Blueberries are still being exported to Canada and Taiwan. Ground preparation for summer vegetable fields continues, weather permitting.
LIVESTOCK AND POULTRY: Rangeland forage continues to remain in good condition. Late season rains have benefitted the growth of grasses and forbs. Forecasted rain this week will provide an added boost to forage quality. Cool and wet conditions are benefiting grazing conditions for local cattlemen.
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Wholesale nursery shipments have slowed down, with less demand from retail outlets as summer approaches. Mature olive trees are being dug from groves and sold for use in landscaping. Bare roots roses are being sent to Hawaii.
Prepared by: Tom Tucker, Tulare County Agricultural Commissioner/Sealer