Blue Diamond Almonds, Bloom Report for February 19, 2015

February 19th, 2015

Northern Region

North 2-19-15-3Fog covered large parts of the Sacramento Valley on Wednesday, slightly reducing the pace of bud development in the Northern region. Observers in the Chico area reported the heaviest fog, with skies not clearing until mid-day. Conditions were somewhat better in the Williams area, where fog was slightly less dense and lifted earlier in the morning. Foggy conditions buffered the rising temperatures throughout the region, with morning lows reported in the lower 40s and afternoon high readings rising only into the low- to mid-60s. Areas with the most foggy condition received few bee hours on Wednesday, with two to three hours of good activity reported in the northern areas of the region and six to seven hours reported under brighter skies along the west side of the valley.

Very few flowers remain in the early blooming Sonora as over half have shed their petals. In the Chico area, Nonpareil bloom is tapering off as petals continue to fall leaving only developing nutlets in their protective jackets. In the Williams area, Nonpareil plantings are approaching their peak number of flowers available for pollination. In both areas the Monterey and California type varieties are a day or two ahead of Nonpareil in their bloom cycle. Carmel in both areas remains one or two days behind the Nonpareil. Butte plantings are almost to their peak number of flowers available for pollination in the Chico area. Plantings of Butte in the Williams area are two to three days behind the Chico area. Padre in both regions are a day behind the Butte.

To date, observers have been pleased with hive strength of bees, noting that most orchards have had plenty of bees working in them on a daily basis. It appears that most growers had their bees before bloom began.

Central Region

Central 2-19-15-3Sunshine and clear skies returned to the Northern San Joaquin Valley. Morning lows around 40 degrees quickly rose to their afternoon highs in the upper 60s after some light fog burned off around 8 a.m. Warmer temperatures combined with light winds gave bees nearly optimal conditions for pollination. As flowers begin to shed their petals, observers noted eight very good hours of bee activity.

Bud development continued to advance at a relatively rapid rate in the Central region. Sonora continues to shed petals with less than half of the flowers remaining available for pollination. Nonpareil and Monterey continue to have peak numbers of open flowers available for pollination, while California type varieties continue ahead of Nonpareil by a day or two. Carmel has made significant progress this week, moving almost to peak numbers of flowers available for pollination from less than half in two days. Butte and Padre are continuing their rapid progression, with Butte presenting nearly half of their buds for pollination and Padre about a day behind.Central 2-19-15-2

Growers with access to available water began irrigating, doing as much as they can to give their trees and potential crop the moisture required for a successful growing season. Bee availability and hive strength have not been an issue in the Central region. Plenty of bees have been observed in fields throughout the region.

Southern Region

South 2-19-15-1Thick fog returned to South San Joaquin Valley covering most areas until mid-day. The early fog kept morning lows in the mid-40s until the fog lifted. This resulted in a drop in high temperature from yesterday, resulting in highs in the mid-60s. Fog gave way to clear skies and light wind in the afternoon. Bees stayed in their hives until the fog lifted. With bloom beginning to peak in the southern region, bees were not able to put in as many hours as in previous days. Observers reported that bees put in four to seven hours of moderate activity, depending on when the fog lifted.

In spite of the cooler, foggier weather, bloom continued to advance at a quick pace for some varieties. The early blooming Sonora peaked on Monday and is losing more of its petals daily. Nonpareil in the region remained around peak levels of flowers available for pollination with California type pollinizers in lock step with them. The Monterey cultivar is approximately a day ahead of Nonpareil. Carmel made big advancements and is at near peak levels of flowers available for pollination. Butte and Padre plantings also made significant advancements in spite of the cooler weather. Those three varieties had progressed far enough in the previous day that what little decent weather was received pushed them to open their flowers. The rapid advancement of the Southern region’s bloom has moved it ahead of the Central region for the year.

More growers with available water are starting to irrigate to support the coming crop. Observers have noted that most growers have plenty hives for pollination with no real complaints about availability. Hive strength appears to be adequate for pollination purposes, with plenty of bees flying in orchards.

Blue Diamond Growers
Bloom Report
Area: North
Date: 2/18/15 Posted On: 2/19/15
Weather Data:
Temperature —> High –> 66 Low –> 40
Wind Speed —> Average –> 2 to 5 Peak Gust –>
Rain —> Inches –> None When –>
Clouds —> Clear after fog Fog –> Patchy until mid-day. Thick in the North
Bee Activity –> 2-3 good hours after fog lifted in the North 6-7 good hours in the South
BLOOM STAGES                  
Percentages Dormant Green Tip Pink Bud Popcorn Bloom Petal Fall Jacket Nutlet Total
Sonora         10% 29% 60% 1% 100%
Nonpareil       5% 65% 17% 13% 100%
California       1% 37% 42% 20% 100%
Carmel     7% 11% 62% 15% 5% 100%
Peerless         15% 50% 35% 100%
Monterey       2% 55% 30% 15% 102%
Butte     12% 28% 55% 5%   100%
Padre   5% 15% 38% 42%     100%
Area: Central
Date: Posted On:
Weather Data:
Temperature —> High –> 68 Low –> 40
Wind Speed —> Average –> 2-10 mph Peak Gust –> 12
Rain —> Inches –> None When –>
Clouds —> Clear Fog –> Light, burned off by 8 am
Bee Activity –> 8 hours of very good activity
BLOOM STAGES                  
Percentages Dormant Green Tip Pink Bud Popcorn Bloom Petal Fall Jacket Nutlet Total
Sonora         47% 34% 19% 100%
Nonpareil       1% 83% 13% 3% 100%
California         75% 20% 5% 100%
Carmel     4% 15% 80% 1%   100%
Monterey       2% 79% 17% 2% 100%
Butte     26% 23% 51%     100%
Padre   5% 15% 38% 42%     100%
Area: South
Date: Posted On:
Weather Data:
Temperature —> High –> 68 Low –> 44
Wind Speed —> Average –> 2-8 mph Peak Gust –>
Rain —> Inches –> None When –>
Clouds —> Low clouds Fog –> Dense fog until mid-day
Bee Activity –> 4-7 moderate hours depending on fog
BLOOM STAGES                  
Percentages Dormant Green Tip Pink Bud Popcorn Bloom Petal Fall Jacket Nutlet Total
Sonora       1% 67% 22% 10% 100%
Nonpareil       9% 80% 9% 2% 100%
California       3% 80% 14% 3% 100%
Carmel     2% 8% 88% 2%   100%
Monterey       10% 77% 12% 1% 100%
Butte     10% 18% 72%     100%
Padre   5% 29% 25% 41%     100%