Company Info

Central California - March 5, 2014

This report covers conditions and observations made on Tuesday, March 4, 2014.

Taken in the Ripon and Escalon area of San Joaquin County, this report’s photos for the central region present the developing nuts of the Sonora, the jacket stage of the Carmel and a shot of the most delayed Butte and Padre planting in San Joaquin County, showing the popcorn, bloom, petal fall and jacket stages all on a single spur.

Mostly cloudy to overcast skies at sunrise diminished during the morning hours, yielding to partly cloudy skies with an overlying layer of high, thin clouds by mid-day.  The overnight cloudy skies produced scattered showers that dropped from trace amounts to as much as a few hundredths of an inch prior to sunrise. Morning low temperatures were buffered by the moisture, with readings reported predominately in the lower 50’s and coldest locations dropping just below the 50 degree mark. However, afternoon temperatures were buoyed by the clearing skies and brighter sunlight, reaching into the mid and upper 60’s throughout the region.

Observers reported that while little bloom remains available within the region’s orchards, the bees aggressively worked the fields in search of forage, putting in up to 7 hours of excellent activity.

Orchards throughout the central region have taken on a shaggy appearance rendered by the preponderance of the flowers in the jacket stage, after having shed their petals to the ground. While Tuesday’s improved weather provided excellent opportunities for pollination, the only viable bloom remaining to be pollinated is found in the most delayed Butte and Padre orchards and the comparatively small acreage of the Ruby variety. The bloom in these plantings also declining rapidly, to the point that one observer noted that the bees were actually knocking petals from the flowers as they scurried through the trees. As shown in the second of today’s photos, bees could also be found foraging in advanced plantings searching for nectar from flowers that had recently shed all of their petals.

Grower’s attention remains focused on water availability for the upcoming irrigation season. The Board of Directors of the Merced Irrigation District has proposed increasing the “Stand-by” fees growers pay for the right to receives water from $24 to $34 per acre. They are also proposing to increase the fees charged for their water from $23.35 to $100.67 per acre-foot. Growers are also facing severe cutbacks in the amount of water they will be able to draw from the District, perhaps less than one-third of normal.

Conditions

High Temperature: 68°F
Low Temperature: 49°F
Wind: 2 to 10 mph.
Rain: Trace to 0.04, falling prior to sunrise.
Sky Conditions: Overcast at sunrise, decreasing to partly cloudy, with high, thin cloudy by noon.
Bee Activity: 7 Hours of excellent activity on the small amount bloom remaining.
Current weather at the National Weather Service
    


Photos: Mel Machado, 3/5/14
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%
80%
20%
Nonpareil
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
3%
91%
6%
California
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
3%
95%
2%
Carmel
0%
0%
0%
0%
1%
5%
94%
0%
Monterey
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
6%
94%
0%
Butte
0%
0%
0%
0%
9%
16%
75%
0%
Padre
0%
0%
0%
0%
12%
21%
67%
0%
Data reflects a composite of the growing region