Company Info

Central California - March 1, 2013

This report covers conditions and observations made Thursday, February 28, 2013.

Taken in the Westley area in western Stanislaus County, today’s photos for the central region present the declining bloom of the Sonora, followed by the developing bloom of the Monterey and the rapidly emerging bloom of an advanced example of the Butte and Padre.

Thursday delivered another day of bright sun, light breezes and warming temperatures for growers in the central region. Morning lows dipped only into the upper 30’s throughout the region, while daytime highs reached into the lower 70’s.  High, wispy clouds soared over the region during the day, adding accent to the sky, but providing no interruptions for the bees, which put in a full 8 hours of very good to excellent activity in the orchards.

The warming temperatures have increased the pace of bud development in the northern San Joaquin Valley, promoting a surge in the bloom in many orchards around the region. Advanced examples of the Sonora have passed their peak bloom and have begun shedding petals. This early blooming variety is known for holding on to its petals quite firmly after pollination and as may be seen in the first of today’s photos, there are a number of flowers still holding all five petals, even though the flower is no longer viable. Strong movement has been observed in the Nonpareil, Carmel, Monterey and California type varieties as the buds move aggressively from popcorn into bloom. While all varieties are exhibiting quite a bit of diversity in the amount of open bloom visible, the late blooming Butte and Padre serve as a rather stark example of the variation in development visible in the region. Some advanced plantings are presenting as much 30% open bloom in the Butte and 15% in the Padre while other orchards are totally “dark” with no open flowers visible.

As the bloom continues its evolution, green leaves are also starting to emerge and increase in size. These leaves are quite evident in the first of today’s photos.

Growers could be seen preparing spray rigs for a long night in the orchards. The forecast of several days of rain in the coming week, coupled with the amount of open bloom, as well as the increasing amount of exposed leaf area is driving grower’s actions. Given that virtually all available remedies work on the basis of disease prevention, rather than eradication, fungicides should be applied prior to the start of infection. Spray rigs could be seen entering orchards at sunset in many areas of the region as growers worked to ensure adequate protection against disease in orchards at the most susceptible stages of development. Growers prefer to treat their orchards during the night time hours, avoiding the times that the bees are the most active and taking advantage of calmer conditions in the orchards.

Conditions

High Temperature: 72°F
Low Temperature: 38°F
Wind: 5 to 10 mph in afternoon
Rain: None
Sky Conditions: Clear with a few high, wispy clouds.
Bee Activity: 8 Hours of excellent activity.
Current weather at the National Weather Service
    


Photos: Mel Machado, 3/1/13
Click an image to enlarge it

Bloom Status


Dormant
Green Tip
Pink Bud
Popcorn
Bloom
Petal Fall
Jacket
Out of Jacket
Sonora
0%
0%
2%
3%
92%
3%
0%
0%
Nonpareil
0%
0%
36%
23%
41%
0%
0%
0%
California
0%
0%
27%
22%
51%
0%
0%
0%
Carmel
0%
5%
58%
17%
20%
0%
0%
0%
Monterey
0%
0%
40%
26%
34%
0%
0%
0%
Butte
0%
15%
63%
17%
5%
0%
0%
0%
Padre
0%
22%
66%
11%
1%
0%
0%
0%
Data reflects a composite of the growing region