Crop Report for the week ending July 15
By Tom Tucker
6:23 am,
July 14, 2023

SMALL GRAINS AND OTHER FIELD CROPS: High temperatures this week have caused a great need for increased irrigation. Dried beans are being shipped to national retailers and exported to the French Territory of Martinque. Harvested grain fields are being fertilized, tilled, and planted with summer silage crops such as corn and sorghum. Dryland wheat is being harvested in the south county. Cotton and corn silage fields are being cultivated and treated for weeds. Cotton is continuing to develop. Corn fields that were planted about a month ago are growing rapidly. Alfalfa is being cut, raked, and baled.

DECIDUOUS TREE FRUITS, NUTS, AND GRAPES: Pistachios are being processed and exported to Israel, Thailand, the Netherlands, China, Turkey, Australia, and India. Pecans are being exported to the Middle East, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Italy, and Singapore. Almonds are still being packed and shipped for export to India, Thailand, China, Japan, Colombia, Panama, Israel, and Belgium. This year’s almond crop continues to grow, with continued irrigation. Stone fruit season is in full swing as apricots, nectarines, plums, and peaches are being picked and packed for national retailers and for international markets. Harvested stone fruit is being packed and shipped to Brazil, Taiwan, Mexico, and British Columbia. Domestic demand for stone fruit remains high. Some growers are placing reflective tarps on the orchard floor to improve color in developing fruit. Late varieties of stone fruit continue to develop as field crews are thinning trees. Kiwi vineyards are being tied and irrigated. Tree farmers are utilizing surface water for irrigation where infrastructure allows. Small acreages of apples are continuing to develop. Pomegranates are continuing to develop with fruit setting in some varieties. Pecans are being exported to the Middle East, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Italy, and Singapore. Grapes can be found in many stages of development with harvest just a week away for early varieties; field worker crews are still in vineyards thinning the vines. Persimmons are in various stages of development throughout the county.

CITRUS, AVOCADOS, AND OLIVES: Late navel oranges are being packed for the domestic market, as well as being exported to Guatemala, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Taiwan, China, Thailand, Korea, and Japan. Organic navels are being sent to domestic markets as well as Japan and Taiwan. Lemons are being picked and packed for domestic markets. Some orange trees are being topped and skirted. Some mature olive trees can be seen being dug for ornamental use. Olive trees are being trimmed. Valencia oranges are now being picked and packed for the domestic market as well as Japan, Taiwan, Mexico, China, Hong Kong, and Malaysia. Star Ruby grapefruit are being sent to domestic markets as well as Korea and Mexico.

VEGETABLES, MELONS, HERBS, AND BERRIES: Local strawberry harvest should be over with this week’s high temperatures. Local roadside stands remain busy selling locally grown produce such as boysenberries, olallieberries, blackberries, squash and cherries. Blueberry harvest has now been completed. Certified producers are starting to offer early summer vegetables such as sweet corn, squash, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, and watermelons for sale at local farmer’s markets. Some older blueberry fields have been removed and will be planted with newer varieties. Blueberry bushes are being shipped from Oregon and planted. Summer vegetables crop continue to be planted. Pepper plants continue to grow and develop.

LIVESTOCK AND POULTRY: Pastures condition continue to decline with the hot weather. Cattle, and market prices are being affected by higher feed and fuel prices. The fed cattle price continues at $180/cwt this week. Manure is being cleaned out of dairies and used for compost.

TOM’S ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Nursery stock continues to move into and out of Tulare County from other parts of the United States and Canada. Cut flowers continue to be imported from Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Colombia to flower shops in Tulare County. Local retailers and nurseries are selling summer vegetable transplants (tomatoes, herbs, squash) and ornamental landscape plants. Retailers are switching out stock to more heat tolerant plants as warmer days are forecasted for July. Houseplants continue to be shipped to Tulare County.

About the Author

Tom Tucker