Tulare Co. Crop Report
For the week ending
Feb. 8, 2014.
Small grains and
other field crops:
The recent light rains have been welcome, but due to the overall dry conditions row crops and alfalfa still require irrigation to maintain growth. Dryland plantings continue to suffer from the drought conditions. Many fields that should be green with winter forage for the dairy industry remain brown and unplanted. Growers are preparing for the planting of corn fields.
Deciduous tree fruits,
nuts and grapes:
Kiwi and grape vineyards are being pruned and canes tied. Pruning is also ongoing in walnut, pecan, pistachio and deciduous fruit tree orchards. Tree fruit continue to be sprayed and fertilized to prepare for the impending bloom. Some early stone fruit orchards are blooming, amid increasing concerns about future weather conditions. Pomegranates, kiwifruit and persimmons still in cold storage continue to be shipped to domestic markets. Pistachios are being exported to Israel, China, Italy, Spain, France and Mexico. Orchards are being irrigated to make up for the lack of rain.
Citrus, avocados and olives:
Navel orange harvest continues, with exports to Australia, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates and Russia. Lemon exports continue to Australia, Japan and Indonesia. Frost damaged fruit is still being graded out, and export and domestic prices remain very good. Some hard hit citrus groves are being picked and dropped on the ground or sent directly to the juice plants. Melogold and Fruit Cocktail grapefruit are being exported to Australia. Minneola tangelos are being harvested and exported to Japan, the Netherlands, Russia, Guatemala and Germany.
Fields are being prepared and planted with winter vegetable crops. Onion, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage plantings continue growing well. Certified producers are growing winter peas, carrots, cabbage and kale. Some blueberries are beginning to bloom.
Livestock and poultry:
Cattle continue to require supplemental feeding and nutrients. Reports of underfed cattle are being investigated, with no cases confirmed to date. Drought conditions continue to effect lower elevation water sources. Additional rainfall is vital to germinate a new stand of rangeland and pasture. Some ranchers are reducing their herds to lower the costs associated with supplemental feeding.
Additional comments: Local retail nurseries are starting to receive spring planting stock. Wholesale nurseries are gearing up for the spring shipping season.
– Prepared by Marilyn Kinoshita, Tulare County Agricultural Commissioner/Sealer.