Northern California - November 5, 2012
This report covers conditions and observations made between Monday October 1, 2012 and Sunday November 4, 2012. This is the final report for the 2012 crop year. The next report will be posted on or about Monday, January 28, 2013, prior to the start of the 2013 bloom.
The first of this report’s photos for the northern region present stockpiled almonds waiting to hulled and/or shelled and piles of compost about to be spread in orchards in the Williams area of Colusa County. Our final image shows a recently pruned orchard in the Chico area of Butte County, waiting for the arrival of a shredder.
The transition into the fall season delivered cooler temperatures and several rain events as two storm systems swept over the Sacramento Valley during October. Daily maximum temperatures approached the 100 degree mark in the period’s opening days, and then quickly dipped into the lower 70’s in advance of the first storm of the season. Readings ranged between the lower 60’s and mid 80’s for the balance of the month, as the period’s two storm events exerted their influence on the Sacramento Valley. Morning lows exhibited much greater stability with readings ranging between the upper 40’s and lower 60’s.
Rainfall swept over the region during the fourth week of the month and again in October’s final days as two weakening storm systems expended their moisture on the northern half of the state. Rainfall totals from the storms varied between 0.1 inch and 1.3 inches, with greatest amounts reported along the west side and southern areas of the region.
Harvest operations have been completed in the Sacramento Valley. While the 2012 harvest has brought more variable crop levels, the harvest was completed in a much easier manner than in the past two years when delayed maturity and October rains created very difficult harvest conditions. Better conditions this year translated into relatively few growers having to deal with wet or green crops requiring drying after hulling or shelling. Growers are reporting that while on the whole, they have experienced good quality levels, some isolated plantings have also produced elevated and unacceptable damage levels from Navel Orange Worm. This has inspired many to review their insect control programs in the hopes of reducing damage levels in the next crop.
With the completion of the harvest, grower’s attention has been diverted to the various required post-harvest tasks. Floating orchards floors to remove the tell-tall hump left by pickup machines, critical post-harvest irrigation and application of soil amendments were initiated immediately after the harvest was completed in each orchard. Some have also begun pruning and shredding operations, as well as removing older, lower producing orchards and individual trees that will be replanted within the orchards.
Huller/seller operators are now working their way through previously stockpiled product and expect to complete shelling the crop by the Thanksgiving holiday.
Current weather at the National Weather Service
Photos: Dennis Meinberg and Ryan Christy, 11/5/12
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