This report covers conditions and observations made between Friday, February 20 and Sunday, February 22, 2015.
Today’s photos for the central region show petal fall and the development of nutlets in the Monterey variety, and a down-the-row view of the petal fall in a Nonpareil and Carmel orchard in the Salida area. Taken in Waterford, the final photo illustrates the heavy rain that hit much of the central region and the lack of bee activity resulting from it.
While the first 10 days of the 2015 bloom brought weather that was quite supportive for pollination, the past few days have been much more problematic. Foggy conditions lasted well into the day, transitioning into low overcast and finally, rain on Sunday, which became quite heavy along the east side of the region. Bee activity was reduced over the weekend and petals were scrubbed from the trees.
Morning low temperatures were reported in the mid- and upper 40s on each day during the period, with afternoon highs rising into the mid 60s on Friday, but only into the mid and upper 50s on Saturday under generally overcast skies. Sunday’s temperatures mirrored Saturday, as rain swept across the region. Sunday’s rain storm was particularly impressive. Growers in the Waterford area of Stanislaus County reported receiving a total of 1.8 inches, with 1.5 inches coming in a single hour during the morning. Conditions got drier further south in the region with the Hughson and Denair area reporting .5 inches and trace amounts being reported in southern Merced County.
Bee activity over the weekend was obviously impacted by the adverse conditions. While the best activity was reported on Friday, observers reported two to five hours of poor to fair activity each day, varying with the local conditions.
Stormy weather on Sunday accelerated the second half of bloom in the central region. The early blooming Sonora has lost nearly half of its petal and has few flowers available for pollination. The Nonpareil, Monterey, and California type pollinizers are all a day or two behind the Sonora and have close to one-quarter of their flowers available for pollination. The Carmel cultivar is a day behind the Nonpareil and is shedding its petals quickly. Peak numbers of flowers available for pollination were achieved in late blooming Butte plantings on Saturday with stormy weather on Sunday increasing the rate of petals shedding. The late blooming Padre is a day or two behind the Butte and will reach peak numbers of flowers available for pollination soon.
Rain in certain areas has further pushed back the need to irrigate. This will help growers in the region stretch their available water supply. The extra moisture is also helping cleanse the soil of any salt build up that may have occurred in years prior.
|Variety||Dormant||Green Tip||Pink Bud||Popcorn||Bloom||Petal Fall||Jacket||Out of Jacket|
Data reflects a composite of the growing region.