Apr 4, 2023
Blue Diamond releases latest Crop Progress Report

Mel Machado, vice president of member relations shared the major findings of Blue Diamond Growers’ latest Crop Progress Report. In its April 3, 2023 Crop Progress Report, Blue Diamond Growers noted: “Cold, wet weather dominated the last two weeks of March in all growing regions, with the passage of several weather systems over the Central Valley. Temperatures remained unseasonably cool during the period, with daytime highs ranging between the mid and upper 50’s to mid and upper 60’s (Sacramento set a new record low daily maximum temperature during the last week of March).”

The report outlined the significant rains that the storm systems brought to the Valley, and the snowfall to the Sierra Nevada watershed area, all at record levels.

Saturated Soils in Western Stanislaus County. Photo: Blue Diamond Growers.
Saturated Soils in Western Stanislaus County. Photo: Blue Diamond Growers.

According to the report, the rainfall totals during the report period ranged from “just over .5 inch in the southern San Joaquin Valley to over 4.5 inches along the west side of the Sacramento Valley.”

The Blue Diamond Growers report noted that the soil saturations and high winds caused damage for some growers, and some orchards are “un-farmable.”

The unseasonable weather conditions have created a challenge for the growers to evaluate crops and in turn, determine crop management plans.

“As shown in the photos accompanying this report, nutlets of all varieties have been differentiating in size, the normal process where those that were not fertilized during the bloom wither and fall from the tree. Of those that remain, observers are reporting two to three sizes splitting and breaking free of their jackets,” the report stated. “Experience has proven that the smallest of the sizes will be shed from the trees, a process that is normally well underway by the end of March. However, this year the cold temperatures have delayed the shedding process, making crop evaluations a bit more challenging. An interesting note this year is the number of ‘twin nutlets’ present in the developing crop. While visible in all varieties, the Independence variety in particular is displaying the greatest proportion. Experience indicates that these ‘twins’ will be shed from the trees in the coming weeks and very few will be retained to maturity.”

To read the full report, and to learn about the benefits the colder temperatures are providing, visit Blue Diamond Growers’ April Crop Progress Report, by Mel Machado, vice president of member relations.

Photos: John Aja, Ben Goudie, Justin Elam, Christine Ivory, Trent Voss, KC Stone, Ken Miyamoto, and Mel Machado.

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