Company Info

Central California - March 15, 2013

This report covers conditions and observations made Thursday, March 14, 2013.

This is the final daily report of the 2013 bloom season. The next scheduled report will be posted on Monday, March 25, 2013. In the event of any significant occurrences prior to that date, this site will be updated as soon as possible.

Taken along the I-5 corridor on the west side, this report’s photos for the central region present the developing nutlets of the Nonpareil in the Gustine area of Merced County and from Stanislaus County, the Carmel near Crows Landing and the last bloom of the Butte near Westley.

Growers woke to clear skies on Thursday morning and the promise of another warm day in the northern San Joaquin Valley. Skies quickly grew cloudy, however, as the trailing edge of a storm system passing north of the state approached from the west, producing a high, broken overcast by noon, and then gradually exited to the east by the end of the day. Morning low temperatures were widely reported in the mid 40’s while warmest locations under the clouds were reported in the lower 50’s. Daytime highs were reported a few degrees below the previous day’s values, held in the mid 70’s by the mid-day clouds and the 5 to 15 mph winds that propelled them across the region. While the winds provided the bees with a small challenge as they searched for flowers, they were nevertheless were able to put in 9 hours of excellent activity on the rapidly declining bloom.

With the exception of the late blooming Butte and Padre, the bloom in the central region has been completed. While younger, more vigorous plantings still have a fair amount of viable bloom, the vast majority of Butte and Padre plantings have already completed their bloom and have few viable flowers remaining. Casual observation of many of these plantings would indicate that a significant amount of bloom remains to be pollinated. However, closer examination reveals that these orchards are simply retaining their petals and few viable flowers are left to pollinate. This was confirmed on Thursday, by the fact that as winds blew through the orchards, petals were being shed from the tops of the trees where the winds had greater effect, while the lower areas of the trees where the winds could not reach still held a large proportion of spent petals. Given the warm temperatures experienced this week, the bloom of the most delayed plantings will be completed over the weekend.

Within the balance of the region’s varieties, Sonora, Nonpareil and the California type varieties are all shedding the last of their petals. Nutlets in advanced examples are also growing daily and breaking free of their protective jackets. Observers have noted that the growing nutlets are also beginning to differentiate in size, a natural process wherein the largest sizes are retained to maturity and much of the smallest size is sequestered and dropped from the tree.

Over the coming week, growers will be monitoring their orchards closely for signs of fungal diseases and will provide protection as required. Irrigation will be a regular activity, as well.

Conditions

High Temperature: 79°F
Low Temperature: 46°F
Wind: 5 to 15 mph.
Rain: None.
Sky Conditions: Clear at dawn, increasing to overcast by mid-day and clearing by end of the day.
Bee Activity: 9 Hours of excellent activity, focused on the Butte and Padre varieties still presenting viable bloom.
Current weather at the National Weather Service
    


Photos: Mel Machado, 3/15/13
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%
0%
83%
17%
Nonpareil
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
5%
93%
2%
California
0%
0%
0%
0%
1%
10%
88%
1%
Carmel
0%
0%
0%
0%
4%
18%
78%
0%
Monterey
0%
0%
0%
0%
1%
12%
87%
0%
Butte
0%
0%
0%
0%
12%
37%
51%
0%
Padre
0%
0%
0%
0%
17%
42%
41%
0%
Data reflects a composite of the growing region