Crop Report for the week ending March 16
By Tom Tucker
1:43 pm,
March 15, 2024

SMALL GRAINS AND OTHER FIELD CROPS: Alfalfa is growing well with the cooler temperatures. Winter grain and forage plantings of wheat, oats, and barley continue to grow, with some fields nearing maturity. Some silage and pasture grasses continue growing with irrigation and rainwater.

DECIDUOUS TREE FRUITS, NUTS, AND GRAPES: Almond trees continue to bloom, a flush of new growth can be seen in many orchards. Bees have been busy pollinating almond orchards and beehives have been placed in stone fruit orchards for cross-pollination in hybrid varieties. Peach, plum, and cherry orchards have blossomed. Pheromone tags have been placed in trees, with bloom sprays being done in some areas. Grape vineyards are being cleaned and new growth is flushing out as well. Kiwi vines are still dormant currently. Almond, Pecan, and Pistachio packing and shipping continues to export markets.

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 continues both manually and mechanically to meet export requirements and for post-harvest shaping. Pummelos are being picked and packed for the domestic market, with exports destined to Japan. Lemons are being picked for domestic markets and exports to New Zealand, Japan, Mexico, and Korea. Mandarins are being packed for the domestic market and exports to Mexico, Taiwan, Australia, Korea, Peru, Chile, and New Zealand. Blood oranges 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. Blueberry harvest has started, with exports being packed and shipped to Taiwan.

LIVESTOCK AND POULTRY: Sheep are being used as weed control for orchards.  Rangeland is still greening with mild weather and excess rains; more and more wildflowers are blooming. The cattle market is doing well, with calves popping up in the hills and steers bulking with lots of greenery to eat. The fed-cattle price is $182/cwt this week.

TOM’S ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Local nurseries are booming with vegetables, tomatoes, herbs, fruit trees, ornamental flowers, shrubs, and trees being stocked for sales. Green Hills Nursery received rose buds from Perris, California, 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, Puerto Rico, and Canada.

About the Author

Tom Tucker