Welcome to our Ag Blog. Our field scouts will offer a unique ground-level perspective from the field to you as an independent field scout with the San Joaquin Sustainable Farming Project. Our mission is to promote sustainable farming systems throughout the Central Valley and provide you with the latest information about cotton, almond and alfalfa crops. From time to time, you'll also find guest posts from our project team and other contributors. This Blog is edited by Gilbert Mohtes-Chan.
Monday, September 4, 2017
Almonds drying in the orchard trees … the very hot sun nipping on your nose
It’s hot. Very hot.
It’s so hot that almonds are literally drying on the
trees, reports a sun-baked field scout Jenna Mayfield. Talk about dry roasted
“Everyone is dealing with the heat,” Jenna says.
“The temperature doesn’t drop very much at night.”
The very hot weather is drying the almonds on the trees.
As August came to a close, the National Weather
Service reported the Fresno area averaged 99.4 degreesfor the month. Triple
digit temperatures dominated the final week of August and the start of
September. We finally caught a break this week with temperatures dipping under
the century mark.
almonds are drying in the trees because of the hot weather. It makes it pretty easy
to shake the nuts off the trees,” Jenna says.
Heat waves are no surprise for the San Joaquin
Valley. But this weather certainly stands out. For instance, the region hit a
high of 109 on August 28, breaking the previous record of 108 degrees set in
1924. The 109 reached on the 29th tied the record high first set in
In some ways, the string of triple-digit
temperatures is helping growers with orchard sanitation. The reason: More nuts
are coming off the trees during mechanical shaking, improving the odds that
growers won’t have to shake the trees a second time or come back to knock off
mummy nuts in the winter.
Growers must wait for equipment to sweep up the almonds.
is an excellent way to do all your orchard sanitation at one time,” Jenna says.
“You want to stay on top of this issue from now until mid-February.”
Normally, almonds often stay on the ground for a few
days to dry. However, they should be swept up and hauled to the huller as soon
as possible to avoid damage from pests, especially ants.
“I’ve seen so many ants. Growers are trying to pick
up the nuts as fast as they can,” Jenna says.
But there is one problem,
especially for smaller almond operations. Many of the same equipment operators
who work in the almond orchards run equipment for other Valley crops. And once
crews become available they often go to work first with the largerfarms before
going to the smaller operations.
Jenna says it’s not unusual to see nuts lying on the
ground for a number of days, waiting for a sweeper to become available to work
the orchard. Such is the life of the little farmer.