This report covers conditions and observations made between Monday, February 29, 2016 and Sunday, March 6, 2016. The next scheduled report will be posted on Monday, March 21, 2016. In the event of any significant occurrences prior to that date, this site will be updated as soon as possible.
Taken in the Ripon area of San Joaquin County, photos for today’s report illustrate the variation in nutlet development in the Aldrich, Nonpareil and Butte varieties.
Wet, stormy conditions returned to the central region during the first days of March as the onset of a series of weather systems passed over the region. Beginning with relatively clear skies and low temps in the 40s, cloudy conditions and the warm nature of the storm brought minimum readings into the 50s in all areas. Following the same trend, daily high readings dropped from the low to mid 70s into the low to mid 60s under the dark, stormy skies.
Strong winds accompanied the storm’s passage, with sustained speeds from 15 to 25 mph and gusts reaching in excess of 30 mph. Reported rainfall totals ranged from 0.6 inch to just over 2.0 inches.
Crop development continues in the northern San Joaquin Valley, as orchards are now devoid of petals, assisted by the brisk winds and rain over the past few days. As a result, trees are becoming increasingly green as the leaves continue to expand. The nutlets of nearly all varieties are continuing to grow within and emerging from their protective jackets.
In addition to mowing excessive vegetation on the orchard floor, growers spent the days prior to the storm’s arrival spreading fertilizer materials and completing fungicide applications. Forecasts of an extended wet period during this critical phase of development has growers concerned about the prospects of fungal infections on the developing crop as well as on the orchard foliage. Beekeepers were also busy removing hives from the orchards ahead of the storms. Hive removal will continue for several weeks.
By Mel Machado