SMALL GRAINS AND OTHER FIELD CROPS: Chickpeas are being exported to Japan. Dried peas, legumes, and beans are being exported to Guadeloupe, Martinique, and France, as well as domestically. Most row crops have been cut and stored but some fields have some silage and grass. Winter grain and forage planting for wheat, oats, and barley is nearly completed throughout the county. Recent rains have aided germination and growth of newly planted grain fields. Alfalfa fields are being cut and harvested for haylage, conditions permitting. Harvested cotton is being ginned. The rainfall has been a welcome sight, the winter storms have been beneficial for crop development. Wet field conditions have halted any mechanical field work. Some aerial pesticides applications have been made on forage crops. Some silage and pasture grass continue growing with both irrigation and rainwater.
DECIDUOUS TREE FRUITS, NUTS, AND GRAPES: Pecans are being exported to the Middle East, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Italy, and Singapore. Pistachio packing continues with export shipping to Netherlands, Bosnia, Poland, Germany, New Zealand, Saudia Arabia, UAE, Korea, Jordan, Lativa, Switzerland, Thailand, China, Mexico, Morocco, Spain, Vietnam, Portugal, Italy, India, Turkey, and Hong Kong. Almond packing and shipping continues to export markets like Israel, Korea, Sweden, Taiwan, Belgium, United Arab Emirates, Libya, Italy, Japan, Germany, Colombia, New Zealand, and Malaysia. The wine and table grape harvest has been completed. Apples are being harvested. Pomegranate harvest is mostly complete for both juice and fresh pack. Persimmon harvest is winding down, most varieties have been picked and sent to cold storages. Stone fruit trees, persimmon trees, and grape vines are being pruned for dormancy.
CITRUS, AVOCADOS, AND OLIVES: Citrus crops continue to be harvested. Mandarin fruits are being picked and packed for the domestic market, as well as China, Japan, Taiwan, Mexico, Hong Kong, and Malaysia. Grapefruits are being harvested and exported to Japan and Korea. Lemons are being harvested, packed, and exported to Mexico, Japan, and Australia. Limes are being exported to New Zealand. Citrus growers will be utilizing micro sprinklers and drip irrigation to deliver warmer groundwater to the soil surface to raise field temperatures. Growers will also power up massive fans that sit high above their crop to prevent cold damage before harvest. Organic navels are being shipped to national markets. Navels are being packed for domestic and international markets. Navel exports are going to Korea, Singapore, Cambodia, Malaysia, China, Vietnam, Taiwan, Indonesia, Japan, Hon Kong, and Mexico.
VEGETABLES, MELONS, HERBS, AND BERRIES: Onion and broccoli plants continue to grow. Blueberry nursery stock has been received and planted. Broccoli has been planted and is growing. Roadside stands are selling citrus. Vegetable and ornamental plants are being shipped in and inspected from Arizona; to sell in retail locations throughout the valley. Garlic is being exported to Mexico. Blueberries and black berries are now dormant. Onion seed is being exported to Brazil.
LIVESTOCK AND POULTRY: Sheep are grazing on retired cropland, harvested grain fields, and some alfalfa fields. Fall calving and lambing season continues for local beef cattle and sheep herds. Irrigated pastures are in good condition. Non-irrigated pastureland conditions are in good to excellent condition with the cooler temperatures and recent rains. Higher feed and fuel prices are affecting market prices. The fed-cattle price is $173/cwt this week.
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 are being imported from Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Colombia to flower shops in Tulare County. Incoming plant shipments are being inspected at UPS and FedEx in Visalia. Shipments of outdoor ornamental plants are decreasing with the colder weather, but indoor houseplant shipments continue. Transplants of winter crops such as chard, kale and broccoli are being sold at local home and garden retailers. Bee hives continue to be moved into the state for overwintering and in preparation for spring pollination.