California: Cotton Planting Winds Down, Rice Emerging – USDA

    Crop Progress and Condition for the Week Ending May 18, 2014.


    A high pressure ridge settled over the West Coast at the start of the week and remained over the State through Thursday. This resulted in a warm and dry weather pattern across the State and combined with a strong offshore flow over the southern region to produce a Santa Ana wind episode across the Southland.

    Interior temperatures climbed to the 90s and low 100s across the State during the week. Even the San Francisco Bay Area experienced temperatures into the 90s and locations along the south central coast saw temperatures rise into the low 100s. The heat peaked in the north on Wednesday and Thursday and began to cool on Friday as a low pressure system made its way across the Pacific Northwest.

    At the same time, the southern region of the State began to experience a shift to an onshore wind pattern. By Sunday temperatures across the north were close to normal and there were even isolated showers along the north coast and far northern mountains. The southern part of the State saw temperatures cool and humidity begin to recover in some areas, but portions of Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties remained fairly dry and breezy.


    Cotton was virtually all planted by week’s end. Thrips have been seen in cotton to varying degrees and mites have been observed in cotton in the southern region of the State. Alfalfa fields are doing well. Oat hay harvest continued throughout the State. Planted corn fields emerged with a scattering of beet armyworms sighted. Rice fields are emerging. Dry conditions in the southern Central Valley accelerated maturation of wheat and barley.


    Grape bloom was finishing up and bunches were developing. Grape growers continued to train vines and irrigate, fertilize, and apply sulfur to vineyards. Olive trees were setting fruit. Pomegranate trees continued to bloom and develop fruit. Apples growers were thinning fruit. Avocado bloom was ongoing.

    Early variety apricots, cherries, nectarines, peaches, and plums were harvested. Growers continued to thin fruit on later varieties. Reflective foil remained in stone fruit orchards to enhance fruit color. Prune fruit continued to develop; growers were thinning fruit where necessary. Kiwi vines continued to grow. Strawberry and blueberry harvests remained active. Valencia orange harvest remained active.


    Walnut and pistachio growers were irrigating orchards and spraying for weeds. Nuts continued to develop on walnut trees; growers continued to monitor for coddling moth. Kernel fill on almonds was nearly complete.


    In Stanislaus County, growers planted tomato transplants, cantaloupe and honeydew. Radish, onions, garlic, fava beans, parsley, and other vegetables were harvested for farmers markets. In Merced County, the earliest tomato plants have begun to set fruit. In Monterey County, full harvest continued for lettuce and Brassica. The warm, dry conditions pushed harvesting to early mornings.

    In San Mateo County, growers planted Brussels sprouts. The warm weather promoted sprouting of pumpkins, cucumbers and tomatoes. In Fresno County, early tomatoes were growing nicely with very few pest issues. In Tulare County, Italian squash and red onions were picked and shipped. In Kern County, growers in some areas treated tomatoes for armyworms. In Imperial County, carrots, melons, onions and sweet corn were harvested.


    The movement of cattle out of California remained active. Supplemental feeding of livestock continued. Range and pasture conditions are rated poor to very poor.

    The Latest

    Send press releases to

    View All Events

    [ecs-list-events limit="5" key="start date" order="asc"]
    Send press releases to

    View All Events