Almond growers around the state have their minds set on the pending bloom period. One of the critical components of getting a successful nut set is proper bloom nutrition. Wilbur Ellis Technical Nutrition Agronomist Matt Comrey said in his area north of Sacramento, trees are a little bit behind because of temperatures and soil type. Bloom is expected within the next 10 to 14 days statewide and growers are working to get the most out of it.
“I think with foliar nutrition, I’m always stressing for folks to go as early as possible,” said Comrey. “Your boron products, really that product has to be applied prior to bloom, prior to flowers opening. It plays such a large role in pollen tube elongation and cell division that it has to be on or infused into those developing buds before they bloom.”
Growers are also encouraged to address nitrogen needs prior to bloom. Comrey also mentioned potassium products being an important factor for bloom nutrition. Addressing nutrition early helps to maximize the upcoming bloom. “Really retaining viable buds during this bloom period is going to be the name of the game,” said Comrey.
Weather conditions are lining up for a good bloom season this year with clear skies and warm temperatures forecasted for much of California. Growers experienced similar bloom conditions last year which helped set a record crop. Comrey noted that even with optimal bloom nutrition being applied, the expectation is for yield to come down from last year.
“Last year was such a record crop that really orchards – almond trees – they can’t necessarily provide another big crop after such a heavy one,” Comrey noted. “When trees are trying to support that kind of a crop during critical periods like bud differentiation and things like that, you really just don’t see the return of so many floral buds.”
Listen to the interview below.