The atmospheric pressure that has resulted in springtime lightning storms appears to have provided some benefits for nut crops. The weather systems that generated lightning storms in recent years brought with them additional nitrogen for crops. Certified Crop Advisor and Sustainability Specialist for Ultra Gro, Richard Kreps said that he’s been observing some interesting results from turbulent springtime storms over the past few years.
“A lot of my guys have been able in the last couple years to back off a little bit on the nitrogen because their tissue levels were fantastic even with lower application levels. I think a lot of that has to come with the fact that mother nature gave us a little bit of extra bumps and the weather has been cooperative,” Kreps noted. “Spring worked out well when things weren’t burning, but the late lightning was not in our favor that’s for sure with our forests.”
Kreps also pointed out that dramatic temperature swings have not been long enough to create any significant problems. Nut crops appear to have benefitted from the increased nitrogen brought about through storm activity in recent years. Kreps said when nitrogen builds up in the atmosphere and comes down on crops as rain the lower acidity of rainwater lends itself to be better absorbed by trees.
“I was sitting on the back porch one evening after getting off work and I was watching these lightning strikes. They were going all the way from Mariposa to Porterville and I started thinking about some meteorology classes in college and realized that you get a lot of atmospheric change at that point,” said Kreps. “That’s probably part of the reason we saw some higher nitrogen numbers in the last couple years in most of our permanent crops.”
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