SMALL GRAINS AND OTHER FIELD CROPS: Winter planted dry land oats are being harvested, baled and hauled for livestock feed. Wheat and alfalfa continue to thrive. Forage crops are ready to be cut for hay and/or silage. Ground preparation continues for spring forage and row crops. Cotton and corn are germinating and showing good growth.
DECIDUOUS TREE FRUITS, NUTS, AND GRAPES: Thinning of late variety stone fruit trees is ongoing. Immature stone fruit continues to develop. Early varieties of apricots and peaches are being exported to Brazil, Taiwan, Thailand, and Canada. Cherry harvest appears strong with fruit quality stable, with domestic shipments booming. Mechanical vineyard maintenance continues with vine training and leaf pulling in grapevines. Immature grape bunches are developing. Meanwhile bees are being placed in kiwi vineyards during bloom. Walnuts and pistachios are still blooming. Last season’s pistachio nuts are being exported to Europe, Italy, Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates, Spain, and Israel. Almonds are being exported to Japan, Korea, Germany, Belgium, Sweden, Netherlands, Israel, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Chile, Mexico, Colombia, Russia, and India.
CITRUS, AVOCADOS, AND OLIVES: Late lane navel oranges are almost done. Fruit quality and demand are tapering down as the season progresses, with fruit drop and softening becoming more of an issue. Domestic and international exports for late navels are steady; with fruit being exported to Mexico, the Dominican Republic, China, Taiwan Japan, China, Korea, Southeast Asia, and Mexico. Valencia oranges continue to be harvested and exported to both the domestic and international markets. International exports for Valencia’s continue to China, Japan, and Korea. Valencia exports remain steady, and will escalate as late navels trickle to a stop. Grapefruit harvest is sluggish, but exports of Star Ruby grapefruit are consistent to Korea, Japan, and Mexico. Seedless tangerine groves remain netted for the bloom. Mechanical maintenance for citrus groves continues with orchards being thinned, topped and/or skirted. Lemons continue to be bagged for Mexico. Olive tree blooms are progressing well.
VEGETABLES, MELONS, AND BERRIES: Blueberry season is proving to be quite productive this week. Blueberries are being exported to Taiwan, Canada, and Japan. Strawberry season is strong, with continuous bloom and mature fruit being picked. Harvested strawberries are being sold at roadside stands throughout Tulare County. Early planted summer vegetables are growing, with new fields being prepared for additional summer vegetable plantings.
LIVESTOCK AND POULTRY: Rangeland forage is in continues to remain in fair to good condition for grazing. The fed cattle market remains steady at $126 per hundred-weight this week.
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Mother’s day is almost here. Local wholesale nurseries remain hectic as shipments of nursery stock are supplied to local and domestic marketplaces. Nursery retail markets are preparing for the onslaught of crowds for the holiday by increasing inventory of foliage plants, flowering plants and cut flowers. Bare root roses continue to be exported to various eastern states, but shipments have decreased to just a few per week.
As a helpful reminder Mother’s Day this year falls on Sunday, May 12th.
Prepared by: Tom Tucker Tulare County Agricultural Commissioner/Sealer