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Central California - March 14, 2013

This report covers conditions and observations made Wednesday, March 13, 2013.

Our photos for the central region present the developing nutlets of the Sonora in the Modesto area of Stanislaus County, followed by the Nonpareil and Carmel in the Escalon area of San Joaquin County.

Bright sunlight, shining from clear, blue skies bathed the central region all day Wednesday, providing strong support for the last days of the 2013 bloom. Morning lows remained at “warm” levels, dropping only into the low to mid 40’s. Maximum temperatures for the day were posted at their highest level yet this year, with warmest locations reaching just over the 80 degree mark. Bee flight operations reflected the very supportive conditions, with 9 hours of very good activity noted on the small amount of viable bloom available for pollination.

Above normal temperatures have pushed flower and nut development ahead strongly over the past few days, particularly over the past 24 hours. Butte and Padre remain as the only major varieties in the region still presenting some degree of viable bloom. Casual, drive-by observations indicate that these late blooming varieties still have the majority of their flowers in good condition and able to be pollinated. However, closer examination of the trees reveals that the Butte and Padre are holding their petals securely in the trees and that the vast majority of the flowers are no longer viable. This may be easily confirmed by a simple tap on the branch, resulting in a blizzard of petals floating to the orchard floor. Most certainly, had the region experienced any degree of winds over the past few days, we would have seen a stronger evolution into the jacket stage in many of the region’s orchards.

Beekeepers can be seen in the orchards servicing hives and preparing to remove them from the orchards. Many colonies will be moved into cherries and apples in the coming weeks.

Conditions

High Temperature: 81°F
Low Temperature: 40°F
Wind: 0 to 5 mph.
Rain: None.
Sky Conditions: Clear.
Bee Activity: 9 Hours of excellent activity on the small amount of viable bloom available.
Current weather at the National Weather Service
    


Photos: Karen Stone and Mel Machado, 3/14/13
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%
0%
0%
1%
91%
8%
Nonpareil
0%
0%
0%
0%
1%
12%
87%
0%
California
0%
0%
0%
0%
3%
12%
85%
0%
Carmel
0%
0%
0%
0%
6%
23%
71%
0%
Monterey
0%
0%
0%
0%
3%
22%
75%
0%
Butte
0%
0%
0%
0%
23%
40%
37%
0%
Padre
0%
0%
0%
0%
32%
36%
32%
0%
Data reflects a composite of the growing region