California: Almond Hull Split Increasing, Wheat Harvest Wraps Up

    Crop Progress and Condition for the Week Ending July 3, 2016.


    The state experienced another very hot and dry week, with rainfall mainly as isolated light showers in parts of the Sierras and southern mountains. Extreme high temperatures fluctuated between the 70s-90s along the coast, and in the mountains, 90s-100s in the valley, and 90s-110s in the desert.

    A few valley locations reported temperatures in the 110s on Friday, while some desert locations reported temperatures as high as 120. Low temperatures fluctuated in the 30s-50s in the mountains, 50s-60s along the coast, 60s-70s in the valley, and 60s-80s in the desert.

    Mountain snowpacks continued to dwindle, with snow basically disappearing from the central and southern Sierras. A few patchy snowfields with a couple of inches of depth still existed in sheltered areas above 12,500 feet in the southern Sierras and at the highest peaks in the central Sierras. Further north, snowpacks possibly up to one foot still exist above 9,000 feet.


    In Fresno, Alfalfa was cut and bailed. Irrigation of all crops continued throughout the county due to the hot temperatures.

    In Tulare Country, planting corn for silage was almost completed. The silage corn crop was at various stages, from newly planted fields to those already tasseling.

    Wheat harvest for grain was finishing up, and wheat straw was being baled. Cotton continued to be irrigated and cultivated. Early planted fields were squaring and beginning to bloom. Alfalfa was being irrigated, cut, and baled. Dry beans were growing well with irrigation.


    Fruit orchards and vineyards were irrigated. Harvest of peaches, nectarines, apricots, and plums was ongoing.  Wine grapes in the Central Valley approached veraison. Table grape harvest continued. Grape vineyards were sprayed for mildew. Blueberry harvest was winding down. Avocado harvest was ongoing. Fig growers began preparations for harvest of the second crop.

    Valencia orange harvest continued.  Re-greening of Valencia oranges continued to be an issue with the high summer temperatures. Late Navel orange harvest was complete. Ruby Red grapefruit were harvested. Lemons were being picked.


    Hull split was increasing in almonds. Almond growers applied hull split sprays to prepare for harvest.  Walnut and pistachio growers irrigated orchards and sprayed with herbicides. Because of the high heat this week, walnut growers sprayed orchards for sunburn.

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    In Colusa County, tomato progress was accelerated due to the hot weather and harvesting was anticipated to begin as early as next week.

    Heat damaged some tomatoes in Fresno County as harvest began in the San Joaquin Valley. Irrigation continued as the temperatures soared. Weed control was ongoing. Fungicides were applied to carrots.

    Head lettuce harvest was ongoing in Monterey County.  Bell peppers, watermelon, cantaloupe, broccoli, zucchini, Italian squash, eggplant, and cucumbers continued to be harvested.

    Fresno County melons were developing well and nearly ready for harvest.

    In San Joaquin County, onions continued to be harvested and cured in the field in sacks.

    Sweet corn harvest was picking up, while blueberry harvest was slowing in Tulare County.


    Foothill rangeland vegetation continued to be in fair condition. Non-irrigated pasture and range in the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys were reported to be in fair to very poor condition. Very warm weather increased the drying of rangeland forage.

    The four largest fires that began this week burned nearly 11,000 acres and were not yet under control. Several wildfires forced evacuations of residences and endangered livestock.

    Bees continued to work melon, alfalfa, and sunflower fields. Sheep grazed on grain field stubble. Cattle movement to summer upper elevation range was nearly complete.

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