Green Tip Stage on Nonpareil in Stanislaus County

Feb 12, 2024
Blue Diamond Growers releases almond crop progress report

Blue Diamond Growers released its Feb. 5, 2024 almond crop report, which highlighted key observations and challenges. The report also indicated the impending start of the almond bloom, with weekly updates slated to begin the week of Feb. 11, 2024.


According to the report from Mel Machado, vice president, member relations for Blue Diamond Growers, La Niña weather patterns have brought considerable rainfall to California’s Central Valley, which has benefited root zones and cover crops. However, the warm winter storms have fallen short in replenishing Sierra Nevada snowpack, posing concerns for water resources. Despite below-average snowpack levels, most critical reservoirs enter the year with above-average storage, offering hope for irrigation needs.


Growers, wary of low market prices, have adjusted post-harvest tasks, prioritizing orchard sanitation due to high reject rates from Navel Orange Worm infestations in the 2023 crop. Heavy rainfall has impeded sanitation efforts, leaving some orchards with high mummy loads and an increased pest risks for the coming year, according to the report.


Observers noted that pruning has been curtailed to reduce costs, though training young plantings persists. Weed control strategies are delayed, risking harvest efficiency. Recent rains have boosted cover crops, vital for pollinators crucial for almond production. Beekeepers are relocating hives to optimize pollination.


Early bloom varieties are showing signs of progression, with scattered flowers observed, accelerated by warm storm events, according to the report. Nonpareil and Independence varieties are transitioning towards bloom stages. The onset of the bloom marks a critical phase for almond growers that are dealing with weather uncertainties, economic pressures, crop management and optimal pollination.

To read the entire Blue Diamond Growers crop update, click here. The report also has photos by Austin Jackson, Nicole Jansen, Christine Ivory, KC Clendenin, Justin Elam and Mel Machado that highlight heavy mummy load and more.

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