February 28, 2018

Cold temperatures continued to slow bloom progression and limit bee activity over the past two days. Daytime highs in the Sacramento and Northern San Joaquin Valleys reached only 50 degrees on Monday, as a storm worked its way into the central and southern parts of the state. Rainfall totals for these regions ranged from .15” to .25”, with hail being reported in isolated areas of San Joaquin County. Cooler temperatures, combined with rain and winds resulted in poor bee activity throughout the state on Monday. Tuesday provided slightly better pollination conditions, as temperatures rose to the mid 50s throughout the state after storms cleared out in the early morning. The central region reported 2 to 4 hours of fair activity, while strong winds limited productive bee activity in the north. Kern county on Monday and parts of Madera county on Tuesday reported 3 hours of activity each while rest of the region had no activity either day.

Wind and rain have accelerated the rate of petal fall throughout the state. In the northern region, very few buds remain in the pink bud or popcorn stage with most of the flowers are in the bloom or post bloom stages. Trace amounts of Sonora can be found breaking through their protective jacket. In the central region, the later blooming Butte and Padre varieties are approaching peak bloom. Nonpareil and its California type pollinizers continue to progress through the post bloom stages and nutlets are beginning to size in their jackets. Bloom in the southern region continues to trail the central region by a day or two, while the central region remains 3 to 5 days behind the northern part of the state. As illustrated in the accompanying photos, leaf tissue is beginning to emerge in all varieties throughout the state.

With a storm on the horizon forecasting as much as an inch of rain to fall over the next two days, growers continue making fungicide applications to protect against bloom diseases. Weed control is also in full swing as growers apply herbicides to the tree rows and mow vegetation between rows.

By Jereme Fromm

Photos by Matt Willson, Ernie Reichmuth, Jereme Fromm, KC Stone and Dennis Meinberg

Northern Conditions and Bloom Status

High Temperature: 59°F
Low Temperature: 34°F
Wind: 14 mph. Gusts up to 36 mph.
Sky Conditions: Clear
Bee Activity: 2 hours of poor activity.
Current weather at the National Weather Service
VarietyDormantGreen TipPink BudPopcornBloomPetal FallJacketOut of Jacket
Sonora%%%%22%28%50%%
Nonpareil%%%%31%43%26%%
California%%%%34%42%24%%
Carmel%%%2%36%34%28%%
Peerless%%%%3%17%80%%
Monterey%%%%35%37%28%%
Butte%%%4%57%18%21%%
Padre%%2%7%61%18%12%%

Central Conditions and Bloom Status

High Temperature: 54°F
Low Temperature: 36°F
Wind: 5 mph. Gusts up to 18 mph.
Sky Conditions: Clear skies
Bee Activity: 3.5 hours of good activity.
Current weather at the National Weather Service
VarietyDormantGreen TipPink BudPopcornBloomPetal FallJacketOut of Jacket
Sonora%%%%32%41%27%%
Nonpareil%%%%58%29%13%%
California%%%%60%27%13%%
Carmel%%%8%78%13%1%%
Monterey%%%1%64%26%9%%
Butte%%7%14%74%5%%%
Padre%3%14%24%57%2%%%

Southern Conditions and Bloom Status

High Temperature: 53°F
Low Temperature: 35°F
Wind: 4 mph. Gusts up to 10 mph.
Rain: .25" overnight Monday and Tuesday morning.
Sky Conditions: Overcast
Bee Activity: None to very little activity for most of the region. 3 hours of fair activity in Madera County.
Current weather at the National Weather Service
VarietyDormantGreen TipPink BudPopcornBloomPetal FallJacketOut of Jacket
Sonora%%%%46%42%12%%
Nonpareil%%%1%64%33%2%%
California%%%%66%31%3%%
Carmel%%1%7%62%29%1%%
Monterey%%%7%62%26%5%%
Butte%%22%28%50%%%%
Padre%2%33%30%35%%%%