Crop Report for the week ending Aug. 5
By Tom Tucker
7:45 am,
August 4, 2023

Small grains and other field crops: Summer row crop season is in full swing, with crops such as corn being very prevalent county wide. Those with water access are happy to have full allotments this year. 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 Martinique. Harvested grain fields are being fertilized, tilled, and planted with summer silage crops such as corn and sorghum. Cotton and corn-silage fields are being cultivated and treated for weeds. Cotton is continuing to develop. Corn fields are growing rapidly. Alfalfa is being cut, raked, and baled. 

Deciduous tree fruits, nuts, and grapes: Stone fruit is still going strong and being exported to Mexico, Canada, Guatemala, Ecuador, China, Australia, Costa Rica, Indonesia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Thailand. Table grapes are being harvested and exported to New Zealand, Taiwan, and Vietnam. Nectarines were sent out to China, Canada, and Mexico. Domestic demand for stone fruit remains high. Last year’s almonds are still being packed and shipped for export to India, Thailand, China, Japan, Colombia, Panama, Israel, and Belgium. Almond harvest is nearing, as the hulls are splitting on earlier varieties. Some stone fruit growers are placing reflective tarps on the orchard floor to improve color in developing fruit. Late varieties of stone fruit continue to develop. Kiwi vineyards are being tied and irrigated. Tree farmers are utilizing surface water for irrigation where infrastructure allows. 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. Apples are continuing to develop. Pomegranates are continuing to develop. Grapes can be found in many stages of development. 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 are 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: Sugar cane continues to grow. Roadside stands remain busy selling locally grown produce such as squash, sweet corn, and some blueberries. Certified Producers are starting to offer early summer vegetables such as tomatoes, onions, squash, cucumbers, and peppers for sale at local farmers’ markets. Some older blueberry fields have been removed and will be planted with newer varieties. Watermelons, honeydew melons, and cantaloupes have been harvested and sold at local fruit stands. Blueberries are being harvested and packed for domestic retailers and for export retailers. Processing-tomatoes are continuing to develop as fruit is starting to ripen and harvest is underway. Tomato plants are being irrigated and treated for pests.

Livestock and poultry: Irrigated pastures are in good condition. Non-irrigated pastures and rangeland conditions are in fair condition that will become poorer as the triple-digit heat will increase the dry conditions. Higher feed and fuel prices are affecting market prices. Cattle are being grazed on the lower elevation range. Cows are slowing down in producing milk as the weather is getting hotter. Dairymen are doing their best to maintain cool conditions for their cows in this heatwave. The fed cattle price continues at $180/cwt this week. 

Tom’s additional comments: Shipments at local nurseries have dramatically slowed due to extreme hot weather lately. Some summer vegetables and ornamentals are still moving at nurseries. Nursery stock continues to move in to 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.

About the Author

Tom Tucker