Posts Tagged: Danielle Lightle
Wet and wacky winter weather may wreak havoc on the almond crop, but UC Cooperative Extension advisor Franz Niederholzer has promising words for farmers concerned about adequate pollination, reported Heather Hacking in the Chico Enterprise-Record.
“You don't need them to all be pollinated,” he said. A pollination rate of 40 percent would make a great year. Twenty five percent will still produce a decent crop.
The heavy rain, wind and cold temperatures that have characterized January and February 2017 could be overcome with just a bit of warm, sunny weather. In Chico, the weekend of Feb. 11-12 were sunny, as was Saturday the 18th. Those were good days for bees to fly.
Fungus is also a concern, said Danielle Lightle, UCCE advisor in Glenn County. Typically farmers watch the weather and spray fungicides before it rains. However, the persistent rain made orchard floors muddy, unfavorable conditions for moving heavy spray rigs.
Farmers who have been in the business for a while know that the golden rule is to “control what you can and let go of what you can't,” Lightle said.
Along the highways and byways of rural California, blossoms are beginning to pop on almond, peach, plum and nectarine trees. California growers have reason to be hopeful, reported Heather Hacking in the Chico Enterprise-Record.
Warm temperatures and sun ensure bees will be out pollinating the crop, rather than holing up in their hives, as they do when temperatures dip below 55 degrees or wind is swifter than 4 to 7 miles per hour.
Hacking spoke to a UC Agriculture and Natural Resources expert about the promising almond pollination season.
"The overlap is very good this year," said Danielle Lightle, UC ANR Cooperative Extension advisor in Glenn County. Overlap means different varieties are in bloom at the same time, which is necessary for almond cross-pollination.
Lightle said Glenn County had enough rain to fill the soil profile with moisture. This year, rainfall totals in the northern part of the state are just under normal. Last year, growers had to pump groundwater in December and January to give the trees the moisture they need during bloom.