A few visits and emails have highlighted differences in leaf drop patterns observed across varieties within an orchard. Full rows of trees will have yellow leaves that drop in time, characteristic of water stress while other varieties appear unaffected. These “in-field” observations suggest that almond varieties respond differently to the amount of water applied. For example, the variety ‘Monterey’ and ‘Aldrich’ have been observed to show signs of stress before ‘Nonpareil’ trees even though crop load is similar. In these cases, these trees may undergo severe leaf drop while ‘Nonpareil’ appears unaffected. Read More
Written by Franz Niederholzer, UCCE Farm Advisor, Colusa/Sutter/Yuba Counties
So far, the weather in the Sacramento Valley has been unusually moist early in the 2014 harvest season. Higher humidity and rain last week (Aug 4-5 = 0.1-0.6”) slowed nut drying just as the season began. A chance of thundershowers is forecast for the coming week (Aug 11-15), so we won’t spring right back to the usual August weather – hot and dry. Growers anxious to get nuts up and out of the orchard will have to wait longer than expected to deliver a dry, quality crop. Wet nuts are more vulnerable to damage (chipped, broken and embedded shell), which can reduce return to grower. Read More
I have been receiving a kernel samples from a few growers who had experienced various issues with water quantity and quality this past year. The picture below shows two common problems experienced with almond kernels. These include both small nut size and kernel shrivel.
I have been receiving a few questions regarding the symptoms of salt burn versus almond leaf scorch. Below are a few pictures to help with the differentiation.
Figure 1: From a distance, an almond tree affected by sodium/chloride toxicity or almond leaf scorch can look similar. Key differences: salt burn will be uniform across the field while almond leaf scorch generally tends to be random across the field. Read More