In today’s Almond Matters, brought to you by Valent, several storms have resulted in growers working through a wet bloom period this year. For approximately the past six weeks much of California has been experiencing several storm systems, bringing with them a significant amount of rain. The wet ground is causing some issues for maneuverability in the orchards, but the continuous stormy weather also appears to be having a bit of an impact on pollinator activity as well.
“We always welcome the rain of course in this state but it does bring us a lot of challenges,” Valent Field Market Research Representative Tino Lopez said. “It makes it difficult, often, to get into our fields on a timely basis to do our disease control programs. Consequently, a lot more fungicides are being applied by air.”
The amount of rain California has been receiving may also increase the importance of getting appropriate fungicide coverage. “All the aerial applicators right now are working practically around the clock trying to keep up with the demand to get growers covered and it’s not uncommon for a grower to be on a waiting list that’s been going on for a week,” Lopez noted. “A lot of challenges, but with the ingenuity of growers and aerial applicators we’re getting through it pretty well.”
Despite a wet bloom period, the timeline for this year’s bloom appears to be more in line with a typical year. Lopez described the progress in the orchards as being fairly close to on time, especially compared to last year’s early bloom. “The early varieties were probably pretty close to approaching 100 percent bloom on nonpareils, and independents and other early varieties. The later varieties are definitely pushing. This cool weather, they may be a little bit slowed down but almonds are doing really fine,” said Lopez.
Listen to the report below.