Tuesday, April 28, 2015

These fifth-leaf almond trees are looking good. The subjective crop estimate (essentially a phone survey of growers guesses) is due out in about a week. My opinion of the crop is that it is good, but not as good as last years. The subjective estimate is always highly anticipated and makes for interesting conversations and market reactions once it is released.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

HAIL! Two weeks ago, on April 7, we enjoyed the gift of about a half inch of rain, a blessing in this very dry year (more on that later). Sadly for a few growers, the rain came in the form of hail.

Hail is very random in nature and fortunately it did not hit any of our orchards. In this picture, sent from a friend, the hail on the ground looked like snow.

 A young vineyard shows the effects of hail, scarring of the young shoots and tattered leaves. These pictures were taken two weeks after the hail storm so there has been some regrowth, but the signs of the earlier damage are evident.

I heard that a few almond growers suffered losses to the hail, but not widespread.