Spring crop season under way in county

A report on crop conditions for Merced County for the week ending Feb. 20 has been released by the Merced County Agricultural Commissioner's office.

The winter wheat crop is 100 percent emerged and is rated good.

Aerial herbicide spraying on small grain fields continues. Field preparation for spring planting has started, and some alfalfa fields have broken dormancy and are being irrigated.

Almond pruning, orchard removal and field fumigations continue. New orchards and tree replants are being planted. Almond bloom is under way, but the pollination weather last week was poor because of heavy rains. Thinning of peach orchards continues, and orchard bloom spraying is under way.

The radicchio harvest continues, and sweet potato field fumigations continue. Sweet potato hotbed planting is under way. Bare-root nursery stock digging is complete.

Supplemental livestock feeding and sheeping off of alfalfa fields continue. Beehive placement in almond orchards is almost complete. Rangeland conditions are good, and grass continues to grow well because of recent rains.

-- Carol Reiter