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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

What does a March RAIN mean to an almond farmer?

For the past few weeks the state of California has been receiving some much needed rain.  The quantity of rain is quite variable throughout the state. As usual the North State is receiving much more than the southern valley. While some parts of the state are receiving 3-5 inches over a few days, the other end of the valley is still only receiving 1/10 to a 1/4 of an inch at a time. We need the rain and especially the snow in the mountains so we can't be picky and we take what we can get.

This rings true for timing as well. Almond growers are very happy we didn't get any down pours of rain during the February bloom time frame. That could cause serious problems for the almond crops and potentially wipe out an entire crop. We had a few weeks in the beginning of the month that were quite wet and just a little clouds and sprinkles expected for the balance of the month.  But just what does a March RAIN mean for an almond farmer?



Well, the blooms are for the most part gone and now the nuts are forming. The flowers fade away and the little jackets are forming which make a gap in the flower base and the forming nut-let. So farmers typically spray before a big rain storm to protect that area from jacket rot. If this jacket area gets too saturated it will cause the nut to start to develop fungus that will decay the nut. You can imagine the nut will not develop properly and it will not be viable for harvest. To protect the forming nuts, almond farmers spray to give the nut a protective layer against rot.
 

There is always something in farming that we have to look out for and watch. Our crops are very temperamental and we have to protect them against anything that could harm their development. Farming is always a gamble and we are at the hands of mother nature. We take what we get and we hope for a good year.

Until Next Time,
Almond Girl

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