Kernels seem to be sizing well, especially given the potential for a large crop, Ewing reports. He looks for kernel growth to end this May, with hull split occurring about 4 to 5 weeks later.

Growers have experienced few disease threats.  Recently, there have been scattered reports of leaffooted plant bug damage.

Although temperatures have been warmer this year than last, heat hasn’t been a concern so far. “Following the very dry winter, there’s some talk that hot weather this summer could be a problem,” he says. “Last year, a combination of high temperatures and little deep soil moisture in June apparently caused some crop losses in terms of fewer and smaller kernels.”

The dry weather since December concerns growers this year and beyond, even in irrigation districts where, historically, they haven’t had to worry about water supplies, Ewing notes. “Growers should have enough water for this year’s almond crop,” he says. “But, some are wondering if they’ll have enough to irrigate their orchards after harvest to prevent stress on the trees and buds and prepare them for the 2014 crop.”

This report is from Tree Nut Farm Press, a twice-monthly electronic newsletter published by Western Farm Press during the growing season. This edition was sponsored by DuPont Crop Protection. If you would like to receive Tree Nut Farm Press go to the Western Farm Press home page and sign up for it and other Farm Press electronic newsletters.


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