In today’s Almond Matters, brought to you by Valent, many orchards throughout California have started to experience almond bloom and it appears that it is going to be a good year for growers.
“Throughout the San Joaquin Valley we’re probably anywhere between that five and 20 percent bloom, so we’re still very early,” UC Cooperative Extension Pomology Advisor for Merced County David Doll said, “but I suspect that probably by the end of the week we should be seeing more and more flowers open up on these trees and that’s going to, I guess, start the season for 2018.”
A fairly warm start to February has helped open the almond bloom for the season, but the forecasted cooler temperatures will be slowing down the progress. Doll noted the importance of staying aware of nighttime temperatures. “One thing to keep in mind when we’re in flowering, especially when it’s a little earlier than normal, is that the risk of frost increases,” Doll said.
As growers address almond bloom, there are several things to consider as it relates to spray applications. “With us going into pollination it’s important to keep bees in mind,” said Doll, “we should try to time our sprays that we’re making into our fields, be applied when the bees aren’t active.”
Other factors to keep in mind to ensure pollinator health is precision in all spray applications and making sure there are adequate water sources available to the bees. “That’s a hard task to request, but its something that should be considered if we’re not seeing any puddles or any open sources of water for bees,” said Doll.
Listen to the interview below.