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 Durham area of Butte County, the first photo for today’s report shows the developing nutlets in the Price variety. The second two photos were taken in Colusa County and show the sizing of nutlets as they begin to break free from their protective jacket in the Sonora and Winters varieties.
High winds and stormy conditions permeated the Sacramento Valley over the weekend. Skies were sunny and winds were calm Tuesday through Thursday last week. Daytime highs reached into the low 70s with overnight temperatures dropping into the low 40s. Skies were relatively clear allowing for good nutlet development.
Stormy conditions moved in over the weekend yielding in excess of 2 inches of rain in most parts of the valley. High winds were monitored between 20 to 25 miles per hour on Saturday with gusts reported over 30 miles per hour and with observers in the area reporting isolated winds well over 40 miles per hour. Overnight lows in the mid 40s gave way to afternoon highs in the mid 60s each day. In spite of the wet and windy conditions tree loss due to blowovers was sparse. Drier conditions prior to the storm helped the trees stay anchored into the soil.
No petals remain on any varieties in the northern region. Nutlets are beginning to emerge from their protective jackets in most varieties. The later blooming Butte and Padre have yet to show emerging nutlets, though that should change this week. Leaves are appearing in all orchards and trees have begun pulling nutrients and moisture from the soil. It is too early to predict potential crop size as non-viable nutlets have not begun to shed in any orchards.
With stormy weather predicted for the coming weeks, growers were busy making their second fungicide treatments prior to the wet weather. Fertilizer applications have already been made to support the developing crop. Excess vegetation has been mowed down low to the ground in order to regulate the orchard temperature in case of a freeze. Beekeepers continue to remove hives from orchards and will continue to do so in the coming weeks.
By Brian Noeller