Tulare County Crop Report
SMALL GRAINS AND OTHER FIELD CROPS:
Alfalfa fields are making excellent progress; and being irrigated, cut, and baled. Corn and sorghum for silage is almost complete, but still being cultivated and irrigated. The corn silage crop is in various stages, from newly planted to already producing tassels, and the earliest planted corn is developing ears. Cotton continues to be irrigated, cultivated, and growing well. Black-eyed beans continue to be irrigated and cultivated.
DECIDUOUS TREE FRUITS, NUTS, AND GRAPES:
Mid-season peaches, nectarines, apricots, and plums continue to be picked and shipped to domestic markets, with exports to Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, and Taiwan. Demand for stone fruit remains strong in the domestic market. Last year’s almonds and pistachios are being exported to the Chile, European Union, Hong Kong, and India. Walnut, almond, and pistachio orchards continue being irrigated. Both mechanical and chemical weed control continues in orchards. Grapevines continue to have leaves removed to allow for improved air circulation and light around the developing bunches to improve color.
CITRUS, AVOCADOS, AND OLIVES:
Valencia orange harvest continues for the Domestic Market. Regreening is becoming more common due to the higher temperatures. Packers are color sorting to compensate.
VEGETABLES, MELONS, AND BERRIES:
Certified producers are picking tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, and peppers for sale at the local Farmer’s Markets. Yellow squash, Zucchini, eggplant, Bell peppers, green Chili peppers, and cucumbers are being harvested. Blueberry harvest is slowing down in most parts of Tulare County. Blueberries are being exported to Canada, the European Union, and Japan. Sweet corn harvest is picking up with more roadside stands opening and sales at the local Farmer’s Markets.
LIVESTOCK AND POULTRY:
Low elevation rangeland continues to dry and conditions are fair, but still better than previous years. Cattle are still being moved to higher elevations. The higher elevations are providing more grass than previous years. Fed cattle prices dropped another $4.00 to $128.00 per hundredweight. Milk production dropped due to the excessive heat last week. Dairies with minimum cooling were hardest hit by the high temperatures.
Surface water is flowing in many of the irrigation canals as the hot weather accelerates the snow melt. Many farmers across Tulare County are able to use surface water to irrigate crops this year instead of relying solely on pumping ground water. Wholesale nursery shipments to Canada and domestic markets continue. Small amounts of citrus nursery stock continue to be sold.
-Prepared by Marilyn Kinoshita Tulare County Agricultural Commissioner/Sealer.