Thursday, August 28, 2014

Monterey - 8/28/2014
Not a yield record, but a record early harvest for Monterey variety in Stanislaus County. This may have happened in southern counties in the past, but, to my knowledge, never this early here. The shake is clean and the nuts are filled out, this is not due to stress.  (OK, full disclosure, this site is technically in Merced County, but it is right next to the county line with Stanislaus)

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Spinner Type Micro Sprinklers, Stressed Pollenators
    Drip Vs. Micros
During orchard establishment an important decision is choosing the type of irrigation system. Most new orchards use some sort of micro irrigation system because of energy and water efficiency and improved production. There are pros and cons to each type of system.
One difference is very evident this time of year. Micro sprinklers must be turned off after the first variety is shaken to the ground to avoid getting the nuts wet. This can result in stress to the other varieties that are still carrying a crop. Drip lines allow us to continue to irrigate the later varieties and avoid that stress.
Drip Irrigation, Pollenators Not Stressed

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Nonpareil harvest is in full swing. Here is a nice windrow in some 5th leaf trees, and nuts being loaded for a trip to the huller.
Our huller is telling us that most growers are coming in lighter than last year. We are a fortunate exception to that so far with improvements over last year in the blocks we have harvested.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Harvest is in full swing in our area. The sound of shakers can be heard everywhere and a lot of nuts are on the ground. Here we are picking up wind-rowed Nonpareil. The yield of the first orchard we completed was improved from last year and in this one it looks like it will be about the same as last year. Interestingly, our hullerman is reporting that so far, most local growers are picking up fewer loads than last year. We will know much more about yields in a couple weeks.