Citrus bloom is officially underway in several areas of the Central Valley, with weather forecasts projecting fairly warm conditions. Tulare County Agricultural Commissioner Tom Tucker noted that District 1 in Tulare has followed suit with areas of Fresno and Kern Counties in declaring bloom.
“Our inspectors and our bloom committee have all determined that our citrus industry as a whole is in bloom. It has at least ten percent bloom present on the trees and because of that we have certain requirements of our applicators, of our growers,” Tucker explained. “They can only use certain bee safe materials or certain material timing such as in the middle of the night, way after dusk and a couple hours before sunrise.”
Information on spray restrictions, including a summary of relevant definitions, which products are permitted, and which materials require a Notice of Intent can be found through local county offices. County personnel will be monitoring orchards during citrus bloom to evaluate the progress to determine petal fall. “As it starts to warm up, the blossoms start to pop open quicker and that will have a tendency to shorten that time period. So, we’re at the mercy of mother nature and the weather in this matter, but we certainly keep an eye on it,” said Tucker.
KEEPING THINGS MOVING DURING COVID-19 CONCERNS
The Tulare County Agricultural Commissioner’s office is in step with many other offices throughout the state, in implementing safety measures to help keep employees and the public safe from any risk of COVID-19. While some office safety protocols have been put in place, their work will continue to ensure the food supply chain continues undeterred.
“Our farmers certainly don’t stop working. The crops continue to grow. We’re right here in the spring where a lot of the stone fruit and nut crops already have immature fruit on the trees and the vines coming along as well,” said Tucker. “We need to help them, in doing what we do so that they can get that fruit to market.”