In today’s Almond Matters, brought to you by Valent, reports from the field indicate that the crop load appears sizable despite challenges that growers have been experiencing in the form of multiple weather events.
“We’re pretty excited to see these trees have been tolerant of this many relatively hard conditions,” said UC Cooperative Extension Pomology Advisor for Merced County David Doll, “this has been a surprisingly large crop in many of these fields.”
Growers had been concerned about what level of damage would be caused by the low temperatures that swept through most of California in early spring. However, it appears that the trees proved more resilient than initially anticipated and look to be doing well despite challenges related to frost damage. “With that all being said, it’s still important for people to realize they need to have the irrigation system prepared and ready for a frost event, especially in the springtime,” Doll noted.
The late rains also caused some issues related to foliar disease in some areas. “There was a period of about 5 days that came in the middle of March into April that was very conducive for a lot of different diseases,” said Doll. “From that long, extended period of leaf wetness, we saw the occurrence of shot hole popping up, as well as anthracnose, and a little bit of brown rot within these orchards as well.”
With summer quickly approaching and temperatures increasing, growers are preparing for the next phase of the season and the types of issues that can present. Many of the issues most common in May are related to root problems and nitrogen burn, but the subject that many growers are most concerned with is water. “As it heats up, it’s important for us to remember to make sure we’re properly applying the amount of water that’s needed,” said Doll.
Listen to Doll’s interview below.