This report covers conditions and observations made between Monday March 30 and Sunday, May 3, 2015. The next report is scheduled for Monday, June 1, 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 shots of some of the more dominant activities in the Sacramento Valley; first, mowing the excessive vegetation and removing trees blown-over by the winds in the Arbuckle area of Colusa County, followed by a treatment for Leaf-Footed Plant Bugs in the Durham area of Butte County.
April was a warm month overall, with weather more typical of late spring and early summer. Low temperatures averaged in the 40s to low 50s and highs averaged between 70 and 80 degrees, with a few days reaching the low 90s. Isolated thunderstorms roamed over the region during the first week of the period, soaking some areas with up to 1.5 inches of rain. Growers that received the greatest amount of rainfall were able to postpone irrigations, thereby saving some water for later in the season.
Observers are reporting that the crop is developing well at this point in time, with few problems evident. Growers have largely been able to meet their orchards’ water needs, but are concerned about the requirements that must be met later in the season. Although things look positive at the moment, water continues to be the main topic of conversation across the northern region. Surface water is in short supply, with growers receiving anywhere from 0 to 75% of their normal water allocation. With short supplies of surface water, growers will have to rely on pumping groundwater to carry their crop through harvest. Another year of increased pumping leaves many hoping that they can maintain the integrity of their wells. Currently, wells are holding strong and growers are able to give their crop the water and nutrients that they need to sustain their crop.
Growers continue to mow their orchard floors and are monitoring for pests and diseases. Some growers have applied fungicides to prevent disease in the coming summer months. Isolated insecticide applications have also been conducted to combat the Leaf-Footed Plant Bug, a potentially serious pest.