California: Almond Harvest in Full Swing, Walnuts, Pistachios Should Begin Soon

    Crop Progress and Condition for the Week Ending August 28, 2016.


    Last week had a warm summer-like start, with noticeable cooling taking place over the weekend. Monday brought showers in the Sierras with a few isolated heavy downpours that dropped over 2 inches of rain locally. 

    Most other locations in the Sierras saw less than a tenth of an inch.  Similar shower activity fell in the Sierras on Tuesday and Friday, with additional isolated showers near the Colorado River on Friday that dropped approximately a tenth of an inch. The rest of the State was dry throughout the week.

    Highs along the coast and into mountain areas were 70s-90s, with Valley and Desert regions reaching 90s-110s. Lows were in the 30s in some location, of the mountains, 50s-60s in the coastal and valley locations, and 60s-80s in the desert.

    Over the weekend, a cooling trend provided lower temperatures along the coast, valley, and in the deserts.

    No snowcover observed in the mountains.


    In Tulare County, corn silage continued to be harvested. Sorghum silage was in various stages of development, with some fields close to maturity. Cotton was blooming, and forming bolls. Alfalfa was being irrigated, cut, and baled. Black-eyed beans were drying, and nearing harvest.

    In Fresno County, Alfalfa was cut and baled. Approximately 30 percent of corn for green crop or silage was cut. Cotton bolls setting was almost complete.


    Some late stone fruit varieties were harvested. Side dressing and pruning of harvested stone fruit orchards was ongoing. Wine, table, and raisin grape harvests were well underway and about to begin in some areas. Harvest of some early wine grape varieties was nearly complete. Raisin grapes continued to be laid to dry.

    Early variety pomegranate harvest continued.  Persimmons were gaining size and changing color. Valencia oranges and lemons were harvested and packed. Strawberry and blackberry harvests continued.


    The almond harvest was in full swing across the state.  Walnut orchards continued to be prepared for harvest. Husk fly sprays were applied to some walnuts. Pistachios were progressing well with harvest expected to commence in a week.


    In Tulare County, fall vegetables have been planted and were growing well.  Summer vegetables continued to be harvested and sold domestically. Zucchini, Italian squash, Bell peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, sweet corn, and cucumbers continued to be harvested and sold at local stands and Farmers’ Markets.

    In Fresno County, the processed tomato harvest was in the final phase.  Cantaloupes were being field packed.  The carrot harvest was completed.  Yellow Bell peppers and lettuce seed harvest was approaching completion. No-heat jalapenos peppers appeared to be growing well.


    Summer weather continued to dry out rangeland forage. Non-irrigated pasture and foothill range quality were in poor to fair condition while valley rangeland were in fair to very poor condition. Prevalence of supplemental feeding of cattle continued to increase as rangeland forage quality declined. Sheep grazed retired cropland and recently harvested vegetable fields. Bees continued to work melon and cucumber fields.

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