Organics – Rain and wet field conditions continue. As of March 23rd, we have a little over 50% of crops planted. Rain and wet field conditions has stopped the transplanting for most of this week. Hopefully we will be able to plant through the weekend. Predicting more rain Tuesday of next week.
Pear Tomatoes – No planting
Conventional Tomatoes – Currently at 0% transplanted.
Modesto/Madera/Kingsburg – Petal fall seems to be dragging out a little with some orchards experiencing a second bloom. This could be attributed to rain and cooler weather during bloom. Early blooming varieties have started to break through their jackets with the later blooming varieties just starting to push. Growers will start monitoring orchards for insect movements and nutrient deficiencies. Cultural practices continue in all orchards.
Organic Kingsburg – The American and Calaveras are starting to push out of their jackets. The Ross is finally past petal fall. Stanislaus, Ultra and Kingsburg Kling is in full bloom. Crop continues to look good.
Madera – All varieties are past full bloom and in early stages of petal fall. The Kader is experiencing a little second bloom. Leaves have started pushing in all varieties. Crop potential looks good.
Marysville/Yuba City – Growers are planting trees while others continue to wait for drier weather before they start. Crop protection materials are going on late blooming varieties as rain permits. The boom continues to look promising. Hail has been reported in the area but has not been heavy.
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Bud break is here in our southernmost vineyards and vines are pushing evenly. We are currently about 8 to 10 days behind last year’s timing. All the wet weather has been great but has created challenges for growers needing to apply crop protection materials. Forecasted cold weather is a concern too. Hopefully, temps don’t get low enough to cause problems, but if they do all the moisture currently in vineyards will come in handy. Increasing soil water content improves the soil’s ability to absorb and hold heat, which helps to mitigate potential damage from frost.
The NW cherry bud development remains 2 weeks behind last year. The Salem indicator plum trees full bloom date is March 24, this is 2 weeks later than last year. The rule of thumb is the Willamette Valley floor will be in full bloom 30 days from this. The Dalles is also 2 weeks behind last year.
We needed a wet winter, but with all California reservoirs almost full and a record snowpack it would be nice to get a little break. There is sun forecasted after next week’s rain so hopefully growers will be able to get into their fields and apply crop protection materials. A string of warmer days could really push growth and help us catch up a little, since the colder weather has slowed things down so much. Crop potential continues to look good. All blocks are maturing slower than normal, but they all appear to be growing evenly. Pea size fruits can be breaking through jackets and leaves are pushing.