Company Info

Central California - March 4, 2013

This report covers conditions and observations made between Friday, March 1 and Sunday, March 3, 2013.

Today’s photos for the central region present the fully developed bloom of the Fritz in the Gustine area of Merced County, the increasing bloom of the Butte and Padre in the Westley area of Stanislaus County and finally, the popcorn and bloom of the Aldrich in the Escalon area of San Joaquin County.

Generally clear skies on Friday gave way to increasing clouds over the weekend, with overcast to mostly cloudy skies covering the northern San Joaquin Valley all day on Sunday. Morning low temperatures were reported at their coolest levels under clear skies on Friday; with readings ranging from the upper 30’s to lower 40’s. Minimum’s on Saturday and Sunday reflected the increasing cloud cover, with readings on Saturday reported predominantly in the low to mid 40’s and upper 40’s to lower 50’s on Sunday. Daily maximum temperatures grew generally warmer as the weekend progressed with readings increasing from the upper 60’s to lower 70’s on Friday to the low to mid 70’s under Sunday’s cloudy skies.

Observers reported that a few brief showers passed through the region at mid-day on Sunday in the Merced and southeastern Stanislaus County areas. However, the few drops of rain observed imposed no problems on the bloom or the bees’ activities. Observers noted strong bee activity during the period, reporting 7 to 8 hours of excellent activity on Friday, 7 hours of very good to excellent activity on Saturday and 7 hours of very good to excellent activity on Sunday, delayed slightly by the relatively dark, cloudy skies on Sunday morning.

Reports from the orchards have noted a strong surge in bud development over the weekend, no doubt pushed ahead by the relatively warm temperatures. While petals of the Sonora continue to cling to the flowers, leaving plantings of this early blooming variety still bright with color, their withered appearance reveals the fact that the flowers are no longer viable and that the Sonora has moved past its peak bloom. Advanced examples of the Aldrich, Fritz and Monterey, which are found mainly along the west side of the region, have also reached their peak bloom. Other plantings of these varieties along the Highway 99 corridor and in the eastern foothills are approaching their peak bloom and can be expected to peak within the next day or two. Strong movement has also been reported in the Carmel, Butte and Padre. While the Carmel is still short of its peak bloom and in excellent condition, observers have noted that trees exhibiting symptoms of Non-Infectious Bud Failure or “Crazy Top” have particularly weak bud sets this year and are nearly devoid of bloom. Butte and Padre are displaying particularly wide variation in the amount of open bloom, with delayed examples of both presenting only a few percentage points of open bloom and others, within the same geographic area presenting in excess of 80%.

Conditions

High Temperature: 72°F
Low Temperature: 50°F
Wind: 5 to 10 mph.
Rain: A few scattered drops at mid-day
Sky Conditions: Overcast.
Bee Activity: 3 Hours of poor activity and 5 to 6 hours of very good to excellent activity.
Current weather at the National Weather Service
    


Photos: Mel Machado, 3/4/13
Click an image to enlarge it

Bloom Status


Dormant
Green Tip
Pink Bud
Popcorn
Bloom
Petal Fall
Jacket
Out of Jacket
Sonora
0%
0%
0%
1%
76%
21%
2%
0%
Nonpareil
0%
0%
3%
7%
90%
0%
0%
0%
California
0%
0%
1%
6%
90%
3%
0%
0%
Carmel
0%
0%
5%
10%
85%
0%
0%
0%
Monterey
0%
0%
3%
10%
87%
0%
0%
0%
Butte
0%
0%
14%
24%
62%
0%
0%
0%
Padre
0%
0%
22%
37%
41%
0%
0%
0%
Data reflects a composite of the growing region