February 23, 2018

Frigid conditions continue to influence bloom statewide, as Nonpareils approach peak bloom in the central and southern regions. Overnight lows in the upper 20s continued both Wednesday and Thursday throughout most of the state. Low daytime highs and cold winds have kept bees close to their hives over the past two days, resulting in low bee flight hours. As illustrated in the accompanying photos, damage from frost earlier in the week is becoming more visible. Although signs of frost damage can be found in various orchards, we are still in the early stages of determining the extent of the damage.

In the central region, Nonpareil and its California type pollinizers reached their peak levels of bloom on Wednesday. High winds on Thursday started to accelerate petal fall. In the southern region, bloom continues to be a day or two behind the central part of the state. In the northern region, petals continue to fall in all varieties except Butte and Padre. Cooler temperatures throughout the state have dramatically slowed bloom progression in later blooming varieties.

Cold weather is expected again Saturday morning, and growers will continue to take preventative frost control measures. Measures include irrigating throughout the evening in an effort to keep temperatures above critically low levels. With rain in the forecast early next week, many growers have started applying their second fungicide treatment for bloom diseases. In fields where growers have saturated their orchard floor as a result of frost protection and have limited access to get equipment through the field, aerial fungicide applications are being made.

By Brian Noeller

Photos by Matt Willson, Dennis Meinberg and Christine Ivory

Northern Conditions and Bloom Status

High Temperature: 58°F
Low Temperature: 31°F
Wind: 11 mph. Gusts up to 30 mph.
Rain: .03" in the late afternoon.
Sky Conditions: Patchy clouds
Bee Activity: 2 to 3 hours of poor activity.
Current weather at the National Weather Service
VarietyDormantGreen TipPink BudPopcornBloomPetal FallJacketOut of Jacket
Sonora%%%%37%23%40%%
Nonpareil%%%%59%18%23%%
California%%%4%51%23%22%%
Carmel%%4%16%47%21%12%%
Peerless%%%%12%20%68%%
Monterey%%%13%52%20%15%%
Butte%2%8%21%62%7%%%
Padre%9%13%15%58%5%%%

Central Conditions and Bloom Status

High Temperature: 57°F
Low Temperature: 29°F
Wind: 11 mph. Gusts up to 14 mph.
Rain: Trace amounts of rain in the late afternoon.
Sky Conditions: Patchy clouds
Bee Activity: 3 hours of fair activity.
Current weather at the National Weather Service
VarietyDormantGreen TipPink BudPopcornBloomPetal FallJacketOut of Jacket
Sonora%%%8%51%32%9%%
Nonpareil%%2%10%76%10%2%%
California%%3%9%77%9%2%%
Carmel%%7%29%62%2%%%
Monterey%%2%19%74%5%%%
Butte%10%14%34%42%%%%
Padre%18%35%22%25%%%%

Southern Conditions and Bloom Status

High Temperature: 59°F
Low Temperature: 27°F
Wind: 4 mph. Gusts up to 16 mph.
Rain: Trace amounts of rain in the early evening.
Sky Conditions: Overcast
Bee Activity: 2 to 3 hours of poor to fair activity.
Current weather at the National Weather Service
VarietyDormantGreen TipPink BudPopcornBloomPetal FallJacketOut of Jacket
Sonora%%%%84%16%%%
Nonpareil%%1%12%81%6%%%
California%%%6%86%8%%%
Carmel%%10%25%65%%%%
Monterey%%4%14%78%4%%%
Butte%4%62%11%23%%%%
Padre%22%55%11%12%%%%

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