Company Info

Southern California - March 6, 2014

This report covers conditions and observations made on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.

This is the final daily report of the 2014 bloom season. The next scheduled report will be posted on Monday, March 17, 2014. In the event of any significant occurrences prior to that date, this site will be updated as soon as possible.

Today’s photos for the southern region present a down-the-row shot of the Nonpareil and Monterey in the Chowchilla area of Madera County, followed by the developing nutlets of the Monterey and a mower clearing the weed growth in an orchard in the Delano area of Kern County.

Overcast skies at sunrise gradually evolved to partly cloudy conditions later in the day as a new Pacific weather system approached the Central Valley. Morning low temperatures were widely reported in the upper 40’s to lower 50’s, while daytime highs reached into the low 70’s under the variably sunny skies. Light fog was reported in the Fresno County area, but cleared shortly after sunrise, creating no factor in the day’s weather.

Observers reported that the bees had ample opportunity to work the fields and spent 7 to 8 hours in search of flowers, focusing on the few orchards with bloom remaining and on the flowering plants in and around the orchards.

The bloom in the southern San Joaquin Valley has been completed, now that the Padre has, on average, dropped below the 10% threshold. Observers have reported a steady and rapid decline in the amount of viable flowers in the late blooming varieties and while some more vigorous plantings can be found still presenting viable bloom for pollination, the late-blooming types are essentially done.

Throughout the region, nutlets can be found growing within and emerging from their protective jackets. As may be seen in the second photo accompanying this report, advanced plantings are well into the differentiation process, wherein nutlets segregate into sizes, with the larger groups having the best potential to be retained to harvest. Weather conditions play a large role in this process, with bright skies and warm temperatures increasing the proportion of nuts retained. In addition to protecting the flowers and growing nuts from fungal infections, growers are mindful that foliar infections can also reduce the leaf area on the trees, resulting in a commensurate reduction in the amount of nutrients the trees are able to produce to support the developing crop.

Activities in the fields have increased as soils have dried, allowing growers to send machinery into their orchards.  Mowers could be found in many fields, controlling the vegetation within the orchards, both to reduce water consumption and aid in frost protection should morning temperatures drop to dangerous levels. The bees are able to forage upon flowering weed species within the orchards. However, as the colonies are removed and the risk of frost becomes an over-riding concern, growers want to maintain the orchard floor as clean as possible to aid in maintaining morning temperatures above damaging levels. The question of water availability this year also means that growers will want to remove vegetation from the orchard floor in order to reduce water consumption.

Conditions

High Temperature: 73°F
Low Temperature: 48°F
Wind: 0 to 5 mph
Rain: None.
Sky Conditions: Overast in morning, partly cloudy during the afternoon.
Bee Activity: 7 to 8 Hours of good activity.
Current weather at the National Weather Service
    


Photos: Ernie Reichmuth and Matt Willson, 3/6/14
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%
65%
35%
Nonpareil
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
2%
78%
20%
California
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
3%
79%
18%
Carmel
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
6%
79%
15%
Monterey
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
4%
82%
14%
Butte
0%
0%
0%
0%
4%
22%
69%
5%
Padre
0%
0%
0%
0%
6%
42%
52%
0%
Data reflects a composite of the growing region