SMALL GRAINS AND OTHER FIELD CROPS: Wheat and alfalfa crops continue to mature well. Silage crops are being cut. Some fields are beginning to be planted for spring silage. Cover crops planted between rows in orchards are being incorporated into the soil. Black-eyed peas in storage were exported to Australia.
DECIDUOUS TREE FRUITS, NUTS, AND GRAPES: Petal-fall on almonds is occurring. Some bee keepers are moving hives out of the orchards. Stored almonds are going to India, Italy, Vietnam, New Zealand, the United Arab Emirates, Cambodia, Taiwan, Japan, Colombia, Mexico, Malaysia, Belgium, Jordan, and the Philippines. Pistachios are being exported to Belgium, Hong Kong, Spain, Turkey, Italy, Germany, and Israel. Stone fruit orchards are in bloom. Pomegranates are starting to leaf-out.
CITRUS, AVOCADOS, AND OLIVES: Citrus packing houses are putting in long days to make up for the backlog. Navel oranges are continuing to experience quality issues due to the season and rain. Some groves are being topped and skirted. Navel oranges are being exported to New Zealand, Australia, Korea, Japan, China, Chile, Peru, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Guatemala, El Salvador, Ecuador, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Mexico. Valencia oranges are now being harvested. Fruit quality is good, with maturity tests above minimum requirements. Mandarins are being packed for the domestic market and exported to the Netherlands, Australia, and Japan. Lemons continue to be harvested. Minneola tangelos and grapefruit are being sent to Japan. Seedless tangerines are being tented to prevent cross pollination. Olive trees are being pruned.
VEGETABLES, MELONS, AND BERRIES: Small amounts of winter vegetables continue to be grown and harvested. The preparation of fields for spring planting has increased due to the warmer weather and appropriate soil moisture. Strawberries are progressing nicely. Blueberries are blooming and new fields are being planted.
LIVESTOCK AND POULTRY: Rangeland forage is in good condition, and warmer weather is enhancing growth. The break in the rain is helping milk production.
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Wholesale nurseries are starting to pick up on shipments to local and out-of-state nurseries for the spring planting season. Bare-root roses continue to be processed and exported to various eastern states, France and British Columbia. Mature olive trees are being dug and sent to Florida.
Prepared by: Marilyn Wright Tulare County Agricultural Commissioner/Sealer