California Crop and Weather Report

Taylor Hillman General

combine harvesting wheat crop


Thermal low pressure remained centered over the Lake Havasu City area. The jet stream remained far removed to the north, leading to a quiet weather pattern. The early part of the week saw scattered ground frost in some of the agricultural valley areas, where some upper 20s to middle 30s minimums were reported. Temperatures warmed during the week, with most valley locations reporting minimums in the 40s by the weekend.

Afternoon highs ranged from the 40s in the mountains to 70s in the southern parts of the State, although early in the week there were a few 80s in the far south. Most valley locations saw highs regularly in the 50s early, warming into the mid-upper 60s by the weekend. The only locations that saw measurable rain were along the southern coasts which received around one quarter of an inch. Locations just north of the Los Angeles basin received a little over one inch. Little to no snowfall accumulation occurred in the mountains.

Field preparation and planting of winter wheat for grain and silage continued. Wheat, oats, and other winter forage crops have germinated and were growing well. Fields continued to be cultivated for spring planting. Some alfalfa fields were removed. The wheat crop was rated as 80 percent good to excellent. Pasture and rangeland condition was 40 percent good to excellent.


Pruning and shredding in tree fruit and grape vineyards continued. Dormant sprays and herbicides were applied. The export of stored table grapes was mostly complete. Kiwifruit,Navel oranges, Mandarins, lemons, grapefruit, and limes continued to be packed and exported for domestic and foreign markets. The recent cold temperatures caused very minimal damage in a few isolated cold spots.


Stored almonds were processed and exported. Pruning and shredding of walnut and pistachio orchards was underway. Pre-emergence herbicide was applied on nut trees and the ground was fumigated for replanting.


In Monterey County, there was very harvesting. There were Brassicas in the fields, but not lettuce or celery. In San Mateo, the fields were pretty clear with the exception of a smattering of Brussels sprouts, Swiss chard, and a few other winter crops. In Fresno County, the winter green vegetables were in different stages of development with all requiring irrigation and fertilizer due to the lack of rain. Organic broccoli was harvested and organic tomato beds were cleaned. In Tulare County, the planting of spring spinach and broccoli began and fields were prepared for spring plantings of other vegetables.


Beef cattle had to be fed with supplements with rangeland in need of more rain for growth. Cattle have been relocated to foothill and valley pastures. Rangeland feed conditions improved with recent rains. In preparation for almond pollination in the spring, bees were brought into several central counties. Sheep and cattle grazed on rangeland, alfalfa fields, retired farmland areas, and small grain fields.