In today’s Almond Matters, brought to you by Valent, it appears that 2020 will be a strong crop year for California growers. Director of Member Relations for Blue Diamond Growers, Mel Machado said that bloom this year was the most uniform he had ever seen, and the weather afterward has set up orchards for a good year.
“I always get concerned about post-bloom weather. If you put cold grey clouds over the valley you’ll lose crop because the trees can’t produce the nutrients that the nuts need to develop,” said Machado. “That did not happen this year. There was adequate sunshine and temperatures that were not serious, significant difficulties in getting that crop set.”
The periods of rainfall after bloom in some areas were fairly brief. The few storms that came through quickly gave way to more mild temperatures, allowing for good development in the orchards. Machado said the differentiation process is mostly done, with the first solid nut recently found “right on schedule” on the west side of the valley. “Orchards are in good condition, especially given the crop load that we’re seeing…There’s been a lot of speculation about how strong the crop is. There’s no doubt it’s strong,” Machodo noted.
The heavy crop load is giving the indication that it will be a strong crop this year. Growers will remain busy with monitoring for pests and maintaining optimum nutrition levels in the orchards. With harvest on the horizon, focus will be centered on irrigation schedules and available water supplies.
“In general, those getting water from the federal and the state systems are working with reduced allocations this year,” said Machado. “There has already been some discussion about water prices rising for those that need to source water. They’re seeing costs of water that may be available for transfer rising. I don’t have any hard values though.”
Listen to the report below.