In today’s Almond Matters, brought to you by Valent, it appears that the overall uniformity of orchards and strong overlap between varieties has compensated for the short bloom period this year. The warm, dry weather also helped to provide ample opportunities for pollination.
“The progression of the bloom was fairly quick. The bloom overall was a few days shorter, maybe five to seven days shorter than last years, but the overlap between varieties was excellent,” said Mel Machado, Director of Member Relations for Blue Diamond Growers. “The bloom was probably the most uniform bloom I’ve seen in my career.”
Last month was one of the driest February’s that California has ever experienced, which caused a bit of concern for some growers. While the dry conditions provided a good opportunity for bees to work in the orchards, Machado noted that some growers began irrigating to just provide some moisture during the bloom period. “A lot of the old-timers that have been around the business for a long time will tell you that the best yielding years have a little bit of weather; a little bit of moisture in it,” said Machado.
Many growers are already anxious to know what the crop will look like after a short bloom period, however, there is still a significant amount of time left in the season as things continue to grow. Machado explained that it will be another 45 to 60 days before that can really be determined.
“Growers will look at the ground in about two or three weeks and they see all these buds that have fallen to the ground and they think ‘oh my, oh my!’ Well, you wind up reminding them ‘look at the tree, don’t look at the ground,’” said Machado. “We’re going to go through that shed, we’re going to go through a second shed in April and that’s really when you can see what you’ve got in the trees, as far as a good crop set.”
Listen to the segment below.