This report covers conditions and observations made between Monday, August 31 and Sunday, October 4, 2015. The next report is scheduled for Monday, November 2, 2015. However, in the event of any significant occurrences prior to that date, this site will be updated as soon as possible.
The first of this report’s photos for the southern region shows a windrow of the Mission variety in the Chowchilla are of Madera County drying after the rain that passed through the region during the final week of the month, a Butte and Padre planting in Tulare County after harvest and a close-up of Leaf-Footed Plant Bug nymphs in an orchard in Kern County.
Dry conditions with widely ranging temperatures reigned during the majority of the period in the southern San Joaquin Valley, allowing growers to nearly complete the 2015 harvest. Daily maximum temperature varied greatly, peaking on the 10th and 20th of the month at just over 100 degrees, then alternately dipping into the low and mid 80’s. Coolest values were reported in the period’s final week when rain swept over the region, dropping maximum temperatures briefly into the mid 70’s. Morning low temperature also varied greatly, ranging from the mid 50’s to lower 70’s.
Official totals from the rain that swept over the region during the final week of the period were widely reported at just trace amounts, with greatest accumulations reported at approximately one-tenth of an inch. However, growers reported receiving as much as one-half inch from isolated downpours that fell in areas of Madera County. The rain has posed few problems, given that harvest operations in the orchards are nearly complete. However, some growers scrambled late into the night, working to complete the last of the harvest prior to the arrival of the storm system. Prior to the rain, harvest operations progressed smoothly and rapidly as growers moved through the various pollenizer varieties. Observers are reporting that all but the last few Monterey, Fritz and Butte/Padre plantings have been harvested and growers are largely moving into post-harvest activities.
Yields among the pollenizer varieties have been reported at greater levels than recorded in the Nonpareil, but generally below levels reported in the 2014 crop. Quality levels are also reported better than the Nonpareil. However, some have experience elevated damage caused by Navel Orange Worm.
Growers with water available are completing post-harvest irrigations and many are applying soil amendments designed to reduce the salinity that has accumulated in the soil over the growing season. Many are also scraping the orchard floor to eliminate the buildup of soil that can accumulate during the harvest and some have begun pruning operations as well. Huller/sheller operators are processing the crop as fast as possible. However, as is normally the case, a large portion of the crop has been accumulating in stockpiles around the region for shelling after the field harvest has been completed.