Northern California - September 30, 2013
This report covers conditions and observations made between Monday, September 2 and Sunday September 29, 2013. The next report is scheduled for Monday, October 28, 2013. However, in the event of any significant occurrences prior to that date, this site will be updated as soon as possible.
Taken in Colusa County, this report’s photos for the northern region present the last-to-harvest Fritz lying in the windrow, waiting to be picked up, a shuttle cart transferring its load into an elevator and a shot of in-shell almonds filling the bins at the huller.
The seasonal transformation from summer to fall brought a sharp change in the Sacramento Valley’s weather. Maximum temperatures increased daily from the low to mid 80’s in the period’s opening days, reaching their peak values as high as 106 degrees by September 9th. Readings quickly dropped back into the lower 80’s at mid-month then dropped further into the upper 60’s with the arrival of a Pacific weather system that brought the region’s first rain of the season on the 21st. Morning lows exhibited a similar trend, with readings reported predominately between the lower 50’s and lower 60’s. However, slightly lesser values in the upper 40’s were reported following the storm’s passage in the coolest areas of the region. The diffuse nature of the storm system produced variable amounts rain, with most areas receiving from 0.25 to 0.50 inch and wettest locations reporting as much as 0.75 inch.
Observers have reported that the very compressed nature of the 2103 harvest has provided growers with little rest between varieties. Growers have moved quickly from the Nonpareil into the pollenizers with little, if any delay. Some have had difficulty with the pollenizers maturing very closely with the Nonpareil, leading to pollenizer varieties dropping to the ground along with the Nonpareil. While elevated humidity levels had slightly slowed the drying process early in the harvest in the southern areas of the region, up to the arrival of the rain the harvest process has proceeded with little impedance. Fortunately, the storm’s arrival was well forecast, giving growers ample time to reduce their exposure by bringing in as much of the previously shaken crop as possible and leaving crop in the trees until after the storm had passed.
Observers are reporting that growers are making now making an all-out push to complete the harvest as quickly as possible in the hope of beating any additional storms that may pass over the region. Growers are moving through the balance of the Butte and Padre remaining in the fields and have begun shaking the last-to-harvest Monterey and Fritz, as well. All are hoping to complete harvest operations in the orchards by the middle of October.
Growers are reporting very good quality in the 2013 crop with very little defects. As in the San Joaquin Valley, growers are reporting that kernel sizes are running toward the smaller end of the spectrum. Further, yields of the Nonpareil have been reported at levels generally above those experienced last year, while yields of the various pollenizers are much more variable.
For those who have completed the harvest, their attention has shifted towards irrigation, fertilizer and soil amendment applications and pruning.
Current weather at the National Weather Service
Photos: Dennis Meinberg and Ryan Christy, 9/30/13
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