This report covers conditions and observations made between Monday, May 26 and Sunday, June 29, 2014. The next report is scheduled for Monday, August 4, 2014. However, in the event of any significant occurrences prior to that date, this site will be updated as soon as possible.
Our photos for the northern region present a view of the Winters variety and confirmation of the start of the hull split in the Nonpareil, both in the Woodland area of Yolo County, followed by a shot of a hull split treatment to control Navel Orange Worm in the Chico area of Butte County.
Comfortably mild to seasonably hot conditions ushered in the transition from Spring into Summer in the Sacramento Valley. Daily maximum temperatures ranged between the lower 80’s and lower 90’s for much of the period. However, readings reached their highest values for the period between June 4th and 10th, ranging from the mid 90’s to as high as 106 degrees. Morning minimum temperatures followed the trend established by the daily highs, varying between the lower 50’s at the cooler end of the scale to the mid and upper 60’s on the period’s warmest days. Official stations reported brief showers during the final week of the period, with trace amounts to a few hundredths of an inch reported in the southern end of the valley.
The mild to hot conditions provided ample support for the Sacramento Valley’s developing crop during June, pushing the region’s orchards towards the harvest season. Observers noted hull split in Nonpareil plantings on sandy, gravely soils along the I-5 corridor during the week of June 16th, with split in more vigorous plantings across the region being noted during the final week of the period. Growers have begun treatments to control Navel Orange Worm, timing applications to the splitting hulls and working around days when breezy to windy conditions made treatments impossible.
Growers have also begun bait applications where needed to control growing ant populations. These baits target only the species capable of damaging the nuts as they lay in the ground during the harvest and must be applied well in advance of the harvest in order to provide enough time to be effective. Weed control operations are also moving to a higher priority as growers prepare their orchard floors for the harvest.
As with the San Joaquin Valley, growers in the Sacramento Valley have been monitoring their orchards closely and managing their water resources as tightly as possible. Observers have noted that some growers with privately owned wells have had to lower pumps to deeper levels as the water table has dropped. However, widespread, serious difficulties have been avoided.
Growers and observers are reporting that the crop appears to be running 7 to 10 days ahead of last year and that they expect the first plantings of the Nonpareil variety to be shaken during the week of July 20th. Some have noted that the maturity levels of the pollenizer varieties appear to be following the Nonpareil quite closely.