February 19, 2018

Bloom progressed rapidly Friday and Saturday as temperatures rose into the 70s. Peak bloom was achieved over the weekend in Nonpareil and its California type pollinizers in the northern region, while Monterey and Carmel should peak in the coming days. In the central and southern regions, the warmer weather pushed bloom over 50% in all varieties except for Butte and Padre. Nonpareil and its California type pollinizers are anticipated to reach peak bloom in the next few days. Monterey remains a day or two behind Nonpareil in all regions.

Butte and Padre varieties vary by region. In the southern region, flowers began to emerge over the weekend with only 10% of their flowers open. In contrast, the northern region is at 40% bloom with some petal fall being noted. The central region’s Butte and Padre bloom lies between the northern and southern regions.

Sunday brought significantly cooler temperatures and high winds that inhibited bee flight and accelerated petal fall across the valley. While bees were able to work for 6 to 7 hours with very good conditions on Friday and Saturday, they were only able to work 4 hours in poor to fair conditions on Sunday. The cooler weather slowed bloom progression in all regions and likely delayed peak bloom in the central and southern regions.

Growers are continuing to make fungicide applications as needed. With a chance of rain in the forecast, some growers are making nutrient applications and applying compost for extra organic matter in their soil. Where water is available, growers are irrigating in anticipation of cold overnight temperatures over the next couple of nights.

By Brian Noeller

Photos by Mel Machado, Jereme Fromm, Ernie Reichmuth and Matt Willson

Northern Conditions and Bloom Status

High Temperature: 61°F
Low Temperature: 30°F
Wind: 14 mph. Gusts up to 37 mph.
Sky Conditions: Patchy clouds
Bee Activity: 4 hours of fair activity at times of lower winds.
Current weather at the National Weather Service
VarietyDormantGreen TipPink BudPopcornBloomPetal FallJacketOut of Jacket
Sonora%%%%46%25%29%%
Nonpareil%%%5%64%15%16%%
California%%%12%58%18%12%%
Carmel%%8%20%55%10%7%%
Peerless%%%%20%25%55%%
Monterey%%2%18%57%13%10%%
Butte%10%14%31%42%3%%%
Padre%15%12%33%38%2%%%

Central Conditions and Bloom Status

High Temperature: 62°F
Low Temperature: 34°F
Wind: 17 mph. Gusts up to 32 mph.
Sky Conditions: Clear
Bee Activity: 4 hours of poor to fair activity during periods of lower winds.
Current weather at the National Weather Service
VarietyDormantGreen TipPink BudPopcornBloomPetal FallJacketOut of Jacket
Sonora%%4%5%62%25%4%%
Nonpareil%%8%18%71%3%%%
California%%10%15%73%2%%%
Carmel%5%12%31%52%%%%
Monterey%5%6%21%66%2%%%
Butte%18%28%26%28%%%%
Padre%26%42%15%17%%%%

Southern Conditions and Bloom Status

High Temperature: 71°F
Low Temperature: 38°F
Wind: 11 mph. Gusts up to 21 mph.
Sky Conditions: High, thin clouds
Bee Activity: 5 hours of fair to good activity depending on regional winds.
Current weather at the National Weather Service
VarietyDormantGreen TipPink BudPopcornBloomPetal FallJacketOut of Jacket
Sonora%%2%3%90%5%%%
Nonpareil%%12%18%69%1%%%
California%%7%16%77%%%%
Carmel%%22%25%53%%%%
Monterey%%15%17%68%%%%
Butte%19%63%6%12%%%%
Padre%32%58%6%4%%%%