In today’s Almond Matters, brought to you by Valent, growers will be watching weather forecasts in the coming weeks waiting for the coming bloom period. Weather conditions have been generally advantageous for crop development during the dormant season. Field Market Development Specialist with Valent USA, Todd Burkdoll explained that the recent foggy conditions are a welcome change of pace from years past.
“On a typical year we don’t get enough chilling hours, but the fog actually acts as an artificial chiller – and it’s staying foggy. Some days it’s been all day long so that’s been a good thing. We need that to keep those trees dormant as long as possible, so when the weather does warm up, they’re ready to wake up and they’re ready to go. A lack of chilling is a big problem,” Burkdoll noted. “Having that chilling is a good thing. It should make for a nice uniform bloom when we do get weather, depending on the weather during bloom of course.”
If the weather continues to be cooler and damp, it could provide conditions for a prolonged bloom period. However, if temperatures heat up, growers could see a rapid bloom season similar to the one that was seen a few years ago. Burkdoll noted that it may be a good year to consider ReTain to help maximize the potential of the bloom period.
“Either way, if it’s cold and prolonged or if it’s rapid, ReTain can give you a little bit of buffer there to slow down the maturation of the flowers,” said Burkdoll. “Having that elongation of bloom, that prolonged period of bloom with a ReTain application, just gives you insurance that you get better set.”
Burkdoll explained that a ReTain application can provide an increase in yield by as much as 20 percent. Slowing down bloom advancement can provide bees with extra time to pollinate trees, creating a better opportunity for success. “I don’t care how many bees you’ve got, they’re limited on the number of hours that they can actually work in the field,” Burkdoll noted.
Listen to the report below.