Northern California - April 15, 2013
This report covers conditions and observations made between Monday, March 25 and Sunday, April 14, 2013. The next report is scheduled for Monday, April 29, 2013. However, in the event of any significant occurrences prior to that date, this site will be updated as soon as possible.
This report’s photos for the northern region present the nuts of the Nonpareil in the Williams area of Colusa County, followed by the Carmel near Chico and a grower mowing the vegetation in an orchard near Durham, both in Butte County.
Mild temperatures accompanied the return of wet weather to the Sacramento Valley. Morning low temperatures were reported predominately in the 40’s during the period, with warmest locations along the west side of the region reporting readings in the low to mid 50’s. While daily maximum temperatures typically ranged from the upper 60’s to lower 70’s, highest temperatures were reported during the period’s final week when readings reached into the mid and upper 80’s under clear skies.
Rainfall returned to the region during the closing days of March and first week of April as a diffuse weather system moved across the Central Valley from the west. Official rainfall totals ranged from 0.8 inch to as much as 1.2 inches. Blustery north winds blew across the region in the wake of the rain with sustained speeds reported excess of 25 mph and gusts reaching over 40 mph. Fortunately, the winds were well forecast and growers were able to alter their irrigation schedules, which helped to enhance their tree’s stability. While some degree of nut loss was reported and some trees were blown-over, observers are reporting that the losses due to the winds were minimal.
Observers are reporting excellent growth and development of the 2013 crop in the Sacramento Valley. The predominately above normal temperatures the region has experience this year has promoted rapid growth since the completion of the bloom and equally rapid sizing of the nuts for this point in time. Nuts that failed to be pollinated have already fallen from the trees, no doubt aided by the blustery winds and the trees have now begun to shed those nuts that they are unable to support to harvest.
Owing to the predominately dry weather experienced this year, no signs of spring-time fungal diseases have been observed. However, growers have begun treatments to susceptible plantings having a history of the summertime diseases Scab and Rust, which must be completed prior to infection. Growers have also been busy fertilizing their orchards to ensure adequate fertility levels and controlling weed growth in and around the orchards. While irrigation plans were altered during the period, the rainfall received did not significantly reduce the need for irrigation and growers in all areas have been working to maintain their orchard soils at adequate moisture levels.
In the coming weeks, growers will step up their irrigations as temperatures rise. All will be monitoring the insect populations within the orchards closely, both pest and beneficial species in order to maintain the highest possible quality at the lowest possible cost.
Current weather at the National Weather Service
Photos: Dennis Meinnberg and Ryan Christy, 4/15/13
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