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Tulare County Crop Report for the week ending August 4, 2018

Tulare County Crop Report for the week ending August 4, 2018

Corn is in various stages of growth. Some of corn is beginning to be harvested for silage. Cotton continues to be irrigated and cultivated. Alfalfa is being cut, dried and baled. Black-eyed beans are being exported to Malaysia and Australia. 

As July comes to a close and temperatures continue to escalate, stone fruit is still being picked and exported from Tulare County. Domestic and international shipments remain consistent, with the market for stone fruit relatively strong for July. International exports for stone fruit have included Central and South America, Australia, Mexico, Canada, New Zealand, China, and Taiwan. Summer pruning and topping of harvested stone fruit orchards continues, with some old orchards being torn out for replacement with new trees. Table grape harvest remains hectic throughout the county, with a majority of harvested grapes being shipped to international markets. Harvested grapes are being exported to China, Thailand, Mexico, Japan, Taiwan, New Zealand, the Philippines, Australia, Central and South America. Some mechanical and manual maintenance for grapes are continuing, with growers pruning and thinning out canopies to allow more sunlight and air circulation between the vines. This season’s pistachio and almond nut crop continues to develop. Last season’s pistachio crop is still being exported to Italy. As the season progresses, blistering temperatures have intensified irrigation for all orchard crops and grapes 

Valencia orange harvest continues, with citrus re-greening becoming more prevalent. As a result, packing houses are sorting fruit by color to compensate for the greater frequency of re-greening. Exports of Valencia oranges are sporadic, with few exports still underway to Mexico and China. A few houses will continue packing light volume through the summer for domestic markets. While some shippers have finished for the season others will hold some fruit until late summer/early fall. Harvest is nearing an end due to the high temperatures and overall lack of fruit availability. Harvested citrus groves are being skirted and hedge-rowed. Citrus groves are continuing to be irrigated and managed for pests. Pushed out citrus groves continue to be prepared for planting, with some fields currently being planted. Olives continue to mature. 

The harvest of summer vegetables continues. Vegetables being harvested include assorted peppers, squash, eggplant, cucumbers and tomatoes. Recent irrigation applications have increased due to hotter temperatures. Roma tomato harvest is well underway, with domestic shipments strong. Various summer vegetables continue to be grown and sold at roadside stands. 

Low elevation rangeland continues to dry and conditions are fair. Quality is continuing to decrease. Cattle are still being moved to higher elevations. Supplemental feeding with hay and/or grain feeds continues. The fed cattle market price is at $110/ cwt. 

Commercially grown citrus trees are still moving to buyers in the local and surrounding counties Nursery shipments are slowing overall. Wholesale nursery shipments to domestic markets have decreased due to the hot summer temperatures. Sweltering temperatures have amplified irrigation for all crops in Tulare County. 

Prepared by: Marilyn Wright
Tulare County Agricultural Commissioner/Sealer 

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