NASS report on CA crops:
Warm temperatures caused early bloom in orchards. Peach, nectarine, plum, cherry and apricot trees were in bloom. Pruning was complete in most grape vineyards. Bud swell occurred early due to unusually warm weather. Some vines began to leaf out. Kiwi plantings were showing bud break. Navel orange, Murcott tangerine, grapefruit, lemon and Minneola tangelo harvests continued. Valencia orange harvest was underway in a few locations. Sampling for freeze damage continued in Fresno County. Nets were placed over mandarin trees to prevent pollination from bees. Young citrus trees were pruned.
Almond leaf out began on a wider scale as petal fall began to wind down. Growers applied fungicides to protect trees. Pruning remained active in walnut, pecan, and pistachio orchards. Pistachio orchards were sprayed with herbicides.
Winter crops of broccoli, gailon, cauliflower, cabbage, chard, collard greens and kale were harvested in Fresno County. Asparagus fields emerged. Onions and garlic progressed. Carrots were in all stages of progression, from planting to harvesting. Processing tomato beds received fumigation in preparation for spring transplant. Spring lettuce received insecticide applications. Sweet potato hot beds were planted in Merced County. Parsley, onion, spinach, and broccoli were growing well in Stanislaus County. Broccoli and spinach were harvested. Broccoli was also planted. Brassicas and lettuce planting remained active in Monterey County. Mustard covered many of the Brussels sprout fields in San Mateo County.
February’s precipitation provided ranchers with emerging grass, though the amount is still inadequate due to the drought. Range and non-irrigated pastures were in poor to fair condition. Typically livestock supplemental feeding of hay and grain declines in the spring, but it continued unabated due to the lack of quality forage. Sheep grazed on harvested carrot fields and alfalfa. Bees were active as weather permitted. The quality of many hives was stronger than last year. As almond bloom drew to a close, bees were moved to stone fruit orchards for pollination.
Alfalfa fields were sprayed for aphids and weevils. Aphids have subsided and favorable conditions were reported. Growers in Kern and Tulare County have not had their first cutting but Imperial County farmers are working on their second cutting. Field corn was planted in the Southland. Wheat irrigation continues and is ahead of schedule due to drought conditions. Growers in the Sacramento Valley applied herbicides. Cotton fields were prepared for planting in Fresno County.