Crop Report for the week ending Oct. 21
By Tom Tucker
6:49 am,
October 20, 2023

SMALL GRAINS AND OTHER FIELD CROPS: Silage and alfalfa continue to grow with some fields of silage being cut down for the year. The 2023 bean crop is being cut and windrowed for harvesting.  Dried beans are being shipped to national retailers and exported to the French Territory of Martinique. Most corn has reached maturity. Corn harvesting for silage is nearing completion. Alfalfa is being cut, raked, baled, and nearing the end of harvest. Black eyed beans are being harvested. Oats are being exported to Nicaragua. Cotton harvest has begun. Manure trucks can be seen picking up and spreading into nearby fields.

DECIDUOUS TREE FRUITS, NUTS, AND GRAPES: Pecans are being exported to the Middle East, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Italy, and Singapore. Last season’s pistachio crop is still being processed and exported to China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Mexico, Switzerland, Poland, Italy, Turkey, Australia, the Netherlands, and India. Almond harvest is winding down 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. Wine grapes continue to be harvested. Table grapes are being packed and shipped to domestic retailers and exported to Mexico, Chile, Taiwan, Korea, Thailand, Japan, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Australia. Apples are continuing to develop. Kiwis are beginning to be harvested. Pomegranates are being harvested for both juice and fresh pack. Ruby red, flavor fall and angeleno plum varieties are slowly bringing the season to an end, with some exports to China, Taiwan, Mexico, and British Columbia.

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 landscaping. The olive harvest is approaching as some olive groves are being pruned. Valencia oranges are now being picked and packed for the domestic market as well as Japan, Taiwan, Mexico, Hong Kong, and Malaysia. Grapefruit are being harvested and exported to Japan and Korea.

VEGETABLES, MELONS, HERBS, AND BERRIES: Summer crops are winding down. Roadside stands remain busy selling locally grown produce such as melons, zucchini, tomatoes, squash, and sweet corn. Certified Producers are offering vegetables such as okra, tomatoes, onions, squash, cucumbers, and peppers for sale at local farmers’ markets. Vegetable and ornamental plants are being shipped in and inspected from Arizona to sell in our retail locations throughout the valley. Watermelons, honeydew melons, and cantaloupes have been harvested and sold at local fruit stands. Locally grown produce such as pumpkins, squash, and decorative gourds are being sold at fruit stands. Garlic is being exported to Mexico.

LIVESTOCK AND POULTRY: The cooler weather is benefitting milk production for local dairymen. Local cattle ranchers are moving their herds from foothill locations to the mountains for better forage. Irrigated pastures are in good condition. Non-irrigated pastures and rangeland conditions are poor due to temperatures and lack of moisture. Higher feed and fuel prices are affecting market prices. The fed-cattle price is at $173/cwt this week.

TOM’S ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Some fall veggies and ornamentals are being sold at local nurseries such as marigolds, cyclamen, lantana and  lettuce. Nursery stock continues to move in to and out of Tulare County from other parts of the United States and Canada. Roses are being shipped to Texas and Arizona. Cut flowers continue to be imported from Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Colombia to flower shops in Tulare County. Local wholesale citrus nurseries are shipping citrus trees, graft wood, and seed to local as well as out of state to Hawaii, Arizona, Texas, East Coast, and international nurseries and growers in Canada and the Bahamas. Fescue grass seed is being shipped to local landscape companies as consumers and homeowners are gearing up to seed lawns for the wet season.

About the Author

Tom Tucker