Crop Report for the week ending March 9
By Tom Tucker
6:44 am,
March 8, 2024

SMALL GRAINS AND OTHER FIELD CROPS: Winter grain and forage plantings of wheat, oats, and barley continue to grow, with some fields nearing maturity. Continued rains have aided growth of planted grain fields. Wet field conditions have halted any mechanical field work. Some aerial pesticide applications have been made on forage crops. Some silage and pasture grasses continue growing with irrigation and rainwater.

DECIDUOUS TREE FRUITS, NUTS, AND GRAPES: Early varieties of stone fruit and almonds are in full bloom. The flower buds on later varieties are enlarging. Bees have been placed for pollination in almond orchards. 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. 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, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Korea, Jordan, Latvia, Switzerland, Thailand, China, Mexico, Morocco, Spain, Vietnam, Portugal, Italy, India, Turkey, and Hong Kong.

CITRUS, AVOCADOS, AND OLIVES: Navel oranges continue to be harvested and exported to Australia, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Fiji, Taiwan, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Singapore Malaysia, and Mexico. High Brix and acid navel oranges are being packed and shipped to Korea and Japan. Citrus trees are being treated for pests. Skirting and topping of citrus continues both manually and mechanically to meet export requirements and for post-harvest shaping. Pummelos are being picked and packed for the domestic market, along with exports destined to Japan. Lemons are being picked for domestic markets as well as exports to New Zealand, Japan, Mexico, and Korea. Mandarins are being packed for the domestic market and some exports to Mexico, Taiwan, Australia, Korea, Peru, Chile, and New Zealand. Blood oranges and Cara Cara navels are being packed for domestic retailers and exports to Mexico. Olives are being pruned and shaped for the upcoming season. Citrus fruit for juicing continues to move into the county. 

VEGETABLES, MELONS, HERBS, AND BERRIES: Broccoli and cabbage crops continue to develop. Daikon radish fields are nearing harvest. Roadside stands are growing strawberries with plastic tarping. Lettuce, onions, and garlic have all been planted for the upcoming spring. Some peas are being planted as well. Blueberries have begun to break dormancy and bloom; bees have been placed nearby. 

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 pasturelands are in good to excellent condition with the cooler temperatures and continued rains. Higher feed and fuel prices are affecting market prices. The fed-cattle price is $177/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 various parts of the United States, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Colombia to flower shops in Tulare County. Incoming plant shipments are being inspected at the UPS and FedEx terminals in Visalia. Bee hives and equipment continue to be moved into the state for spring pollination. Wholesale nurseries continue to ship out individual rose buds to various states. Green Hills Nursery received rose buds from Perris, CA that are free from GWSS. Bare root roses from out of county and out of state continue to be received for processing and shipping to various states and Puerto Rico. Bare root roses are also being exported to Canada.

About the Author

Tom Tucker