Crop Report for the week ending Sept. 16
By Tom Tucker
7:04 am,
September 16, 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. Corn silage continues to mature, be chopped, and taken to dairies. Corn fields are thriving and growing rapidly. Alfalfa is being cut, raked, and baled. Dried beans are being shipped to national retailers and exported to the French Territory of Martinique. Cotton is continuing to develop. Barley, wheat, and oat seeds are being shipped to various seed dealers for the upcoming planting season. 

DECIDUOUS TREE FRUITS, NUTS, AND GRAPES: The pistachio harvest has begun with product going into packing facilities. Last season’s pistachio crop is still being processed and exported to China, Turkey, Australia, the Netherlands, and India to make room for the incoming 2023 crop. Almond harvest continues with various stages of the harvest process ongoing throughout the county. Last season’s almonds are still being packed and shipped for export to India, Thailand, China, Japan, Colombia, Panama, Israel, and Belgium. 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. Nectarines were shipped to China, Canada, Mexico, Dominican Republic, the Philippines, Colombia, and Chile. Stone fruit orchard surveys are nearing completion for Mexico. Domestic demand for stone fruit remains high. Pecans are being exported to the Middle East, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Italy, and Singapore. Apples are continuing to develop. Table grape harvest continues. Exported grapes were shipped to Taiwan, Korea, Thailand, Japan, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Australia. Persimmons are reaching mature size and should soon start to show color. Plum harvest and packing season is still going strong with domestic and export pack for the Dominican Republic and British Columbia. Plums are being harvested and packed. It is still unconfirmed whether any damage occurred to both pistachio and almond crop during the last rain.

CITRUS, AVOCADOS, AND OLIVES: New citrus crops continue to develop and gain size. Some orange trees are being topped and skirted. Some mature olive trees are being dug for ornamental use. Olives continue to develop while some trees are being trimmed. Olive harvest is approaching. Valencia oranges are now being picked and packed for the domestic market as well as Japan, Taiwan, Mexico, China, Hong Kong, and Malaysia.

VEGETABLES, MELONS, HERBS, AND BERRIES: Summer crops are winding down. Roadside stands remain busy selling locally grown produce such as melons, tomatoes, squash, and sweet corn. Certified Producers are offering summer vegetables such as tomatoes, figs, onions, squash, cucumbers, and peppers for sale at local Farmers’ Markets. Some older blueberry fields have been removed and will be replanted with newer varieties. Watermelons, honeydew melons, and cantaloupes have been harvested and sold at local fruit stands.

LIVESTOCK AND POULTRY: The cooler weather in the 90s is beneficial to dairy cows and their production of milk. Dairymen are doing their best to maintain cool conditions for their cows as summer winds down. Irrigated pastures are in good condition. Non-irrigated pastures and rangeland conditions are in fair condition that will only become poorer as the summer season progresses. Higher feed and fuel prices are affecting market prices. Cattle are being grazed on the higher elevation range. The fed-cattle price continues at $179/cwt this week.

TOM’S ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Shipments at local nurseries have dramatically slowed due to the hot/dry 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