February 16, 2018

Cooler weather over the last few days has slowed bloom progression and somewhat equalized the bloom. This alleviates some concern that warmer weather at the start of bloom caused some buds to develop faster than others on individual trees setting up the potential for widespread mixed maturity. This means that the recent cool spell has slowed the progression of the early buds and allowed the later maturing buds to catch up.

Nonpareil Bloom – Madera County

There are almost no dormant buds remaining and buds with no flower tissue showing are under 20% remaining in all varieties except Butte and Padre throughout the state. Nonpareil and its California type pollinizers are within 6% of each other, setting up potentially strong overlap. The northern region remains 4 to 5 days ahead of everywhere else and should achieve peak bloom over the weekend in all varieties except Butte and Padre.

Overnight lows in the 30s have caused bees to delay the start of their pollinating day. However, afternoon highs in the mid 60s have allowed bees to work for 6 to 7 hours in all regions. Bees were mildly hampered by higher winds in the northern region and in parts of the southern region. In general, bees have had the weather they need the last two days to pollinate the crop.

Some growers with available water have begun to irrigate to prepare for frost conditions, and so the trees do not stress once leafy tissue starts emerging. Growers are continuing to treat for bloom diseases, while a few have decided to hold off until more flowers emerge or rain is imminent.

By Brian Noeller

Photos by Ernie Reichmuth, Matthew Willson and Christine Ivory

Northern Conditions and Bloom Status

High Temperature: 63°F
Low Temperature: 30°F
Wind: 15 mph. Gusts up to 30 mph.
Sky Conditions: Clear
Bee Activity: 6 hours of fair to good activity in less windy areas.
Current weather at the National Weather Service
VarietyDormantGreen TipPink BudPopcornBloomPetal FallJacketOut of Jacket
Sonora%%%15%55%22%8%%
Nonpareil%%5%21%64%10%%%
California%%5%29%58%8%%%
Carmel%%18%35%45%2%%%
Peerless%%%10%55%25%10%%
Monterey%%7%38%50%5%%%
Butte%25%35%22%18%%%%
Padre%30%33%28%9%%%%

Central Conditions and Bloom Status

High Temperature: 65°F
Low Temperature: 33°F
Wind: 4 mph. Gusts up to 8 mph.
Sky Conditions: Clear
Bee Activity: 7 hours of very good activity.
Current weather at the National Weather Service
VarietyDormantGreen TipPink BudPopcornBloomPetal FallJacketOut of Jacket
Sonora%5%7%14%68%6%%%
Nonpareil%8%31%28%33%%%%
California%16%25%28%31%%%%
Carmel%18%38%20%24%%%%
Monterey%17%33%22%28%%%%
Butte%50%26%12%12%%%%
Padre1%56%26%11%6%%%%

Southern Conditions and Bloom Status

High Temperature: 65°F
Low Temperature: 36°F
Wind: 5 mph. Gusts up to 20 mph.
Sky Conditions: High, thin clouds.
Bee Activity: 4 to 5 hours of fair activity. Very good activity in the southern region with lower winds.
Current weather at the National Weather Service
VarietyDormantGreen TipPink BudPopcornBloomPetal FallJacketOut of Jacket
Sonora%%22%10%68%%%%
Nonpareil%4%46%13%37%%%%
California%3%40%16%41%%%%
Carmel%26%54%9%11%%%%
Monterey%6%50%13%31%%%%
Butte%53%45%2%%%%%
Padre4%67%29%%%%%%