Crop Conditions – Facts for Fancy Fruit

Crop Conditions

Growth and development in fruit crops is continuing slowly across the state due to cool temperatures and resulting low growing degree day accumulation. It’s been a rough start to spring to say the least. Frost and freeze damage from the April 15-16 events has become more obvious, and there are still risks of freezing temperatures in the near future. Currently in the Lafayette area apples are mostly past full bloom and into petal fall. A few varieties are still near full bloom. Frost damage is visible on the petals of many varieties. Grapes are at bud break to about 3 inch shoots. The earlier varieties are showing some damage from the earlier frosts, but for the most part we escaped major damage. Blackberries are at 2 to 4 inch shoots and flowers are now visible on some shoots. Those will be susceptible to freeze injury though the leaf tissue will likely survive. While we have, so far, been fortunate in the Lafayette area, that is not true for growers in the southern part of the state where crops were more advanced and freeze injury in April was much worse. But until all danger of frost is past and we can fully access the extent of the damage, there’s no sense worrying. Tree fruit growers should hold off on thinning until we know how much crop is left. It is still possible that most fruit crops will produce a good crop.

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