California – July Crop Comments
Mid-Season peaches, nectarines, apricots, and plums continued to be harvested, packed, and shipped to domestic and foreign marketplaces. The hot weather caused stone fruits to mature about two weeks earlier than last year. Fruit trees were irrigated and herbicide applications made to some orchard floors. Pomegranates were sizing well. The blueberry harvest slowed and was completed by mid-month. The avocado harvest continued despite heat causing some fruit to drop. Fig growers continued preparations for harvest of a second crop. Wine grapes in the Central Valley approached veraison. In Fresno County, grapes were sugaring with some mite spray applied. In Colusa, Sacramento, Solano, and Yolo Counties, the grape harvest began towards month’s end. The Pinot Gris wine grape harvest began towards the end of the month. The table grapes were harvested in the Central Valley area of the State. Grape vineyards were sprayed for mildew, mites, and weed control. Vineyards were irrigated to mitigate stress impacting sugar accumulation.
The olive crop was reported to be progressing well at month’s end. Almond hull split increased in some orchards. Almond growers applied hull split sprays in anticipation of the harvest in early August. However, the almond shake had begun in Fresno and Merced Counties by the end of July. Worm sprays were applied to some almond orchards. Yellowing and leaf loss in Carmel almond orchards were reported in Stanislaus and Merced Counties. Spider mite activity picked up with the ongoing heat after being tempered by the cool conditions and rain in May. Irrigation and grooming of nut orchards continued across the State. Due to the high heat early in the month, walnut growers sprayed orchards for sun burn. Walnut branches were broken from the weight of a heavy set, and were removed from orchard floors. Codling moth spraying in walnut orchards continued as did monitoring for husk fly. Irrigation and fertilization continued in orchards not being prepared for harvest. New plantings of almond and pistachio trees were leafing out well in response to the warm weather and irrigation. Pistachios were well into nut fill with less blanks being reported.