This report covers conditions and observations made between Monday, August 3 and Sunday, August 30, 2015. The next report is scheduled for Monday, October 5, 2015. However, in the event of any significant occurrences prior to that date, this site will be updated as soon as possible.
This report’s photos for the northern region present a shot the Nonpareil laying on the ground after shaking and sweeper preparing the crop to be picked up, both in the Arbuckle area of Colusa County. Our final image shows stockpiled product waiting to be shelled in the Chico area of Butte County, while our featured image shows a “local native” passing though an orchard in the Maxwell area of Colusa County.
While not exactly cool, growers in the northern region enjoyed milder conditions than those farther to the south in the San Joaquin Valley. Daily maximum temperatures ranged between the upper 80’s and mid 90’s, with readings rising above the century mark only briefly at mid-month and again during the period’s final week. Morning minimum readings were also reported at mild levels, ranging predominately between the upper 50’s and mid 60’s throughout the period.
Harvest operations are at “full throttle” in the Sacramento Valley. Growers with advanced plantings have already completed harvest of their Nonpareil and have moved on to the pollenizers, in many cases not pausing to irrigate prior to shaking the next variety. Growers are reporting the best yields along the west side of the valley, with many reporting better crops than experienced in 2014. Meanwhile, growers in the Chico area of Butte County are reporting more mixed results, with yields there varying from orchard to orchard.
Growers in all areas are expressing the greatest degree of concern over reject levels they have observed in the crop thus far. Excessive damage levels caused by Navel Orange Worm can be found in many areas of the region, with extreme levels in the teens noted in the most egregious examples. Grower are also concerned that the life cycle timing of the insect may place the balance of the region’s varieties at risk for damage and are hoping to get the pollenizers on the ground before the moths can lay their eggs on the nuts.
Crop is being rapidly transported to huller/sheller facilities and to stockpiles for processing after the harvest operations have been completed in the fields. Huller/sheller operators are reporting that the crop is being processed very quickly through their facilities, leading many to predict an early completion of harvest this year.