California: Harvest Wraps Up – USDA

    Crop Progress and Condition for the Week Ending November 15, 2015.


    Broad upper-level troughing across the western United States brought an extended period of chilly, active weather. Temperatures in some mountain locations dropped as low as the single digits, although lows in the teens and 20s were more common. Temperatures in most areas of the State (including the coast and deserts) dropped to the 30s at least once, lows were in the 30s to 40s along the coast and valley, and 30s to 50s in the desert.

    The highs in the mountains were limited to the 30s to 40s, much of the State ranged from the 50s to 60s, and in the extreme southern coast and deserts nudged into the 70s.

    The only dry days during the week were between Pacific storms on Thursday and Friday. The heaviest rain fell generally along and north of I-80, with most locations receiving close to 2 inches. Rainfall amounts were lighter further south, gradually diminishing to about a quarter of an inch in the interior deserts.

    Two separate accumulating snow storms dropped anywhere from 6 inches to a foot and a half of snowfall in much of the Sierras, with 4 to 8 inches in the northern mountains around Mt. Shasta. Temperatures still warmed enough during the day to allow some snowmelt, but most of the mountain areas north of Mt. Whitney now have meager snowcover.


    Seed corn harvest neared completion. Cotton harvest was completed, with fields shredded and disced to comply with the cotton plow down regulations. Modules were moved to gins for processing. Blackeye bean harvest was completed. Harvested fields were undergoing preparations for winter grain and forage crops, which included spreading manure, discing, preparing berms, and planting. In San Joaquin County, planting of winter wheat began while other oats and mixed forage were beginning to emerge from the soil.


    In Fresno County, there were reports of grape varieties left to be harvested. Deciduous tree fruit orchards continued to be prepped for winter with pruning and fertilization throughout the State. In Madera County, raisins were all off the ground with some left to be delivered to packers.

    In Tulare County, table grape vineyards that were covered with plastic to keep the rain off continued to be harvested. Persimmons were harvested and sold at roadside stands. Navel orange harvest slowed due to the recent rains. Color continued to improve with cooler temperatures. Pomelos continued to be picked and sold. The olive harvest was completed.


    In Fresno County, approximately one half of the walnut orchards were shook a second time. Almond and pistachio pruning continued with applications of zinc and boron applied in preparation for winter. Land was prepared to plant almond trees in the spring.


    In San Joaquin County, pumpkin harvest was winding down. In Monterey County, lettuce harvest declined rapidly and celery harvest neared the end of the season. In Fresno County, onions and garlic were planted. Other green, leafy vegetables germinated and were growing well. Kale for seed was cultivated and irrigated. Fumigants were applied to carrots through irrigation. Processing tomato beds were prepared for spring planting and drip tape installed.

    In Tulare County, winter vegetable field preparation and planting were underway. The winter vegetables benefitted from the recent rain.


    Sheep were grazing on alfalfa stubble. Good conditions were reported in rangeland pasture with the recent rains. Although the foothills have received rain, it has not been enough to replenish the water sources from the streams and lakes. Water continued to be trucked into the foothills.

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