Crop conditions – Facts for Fancy Fruit

Crop conditions

Peaches are in bloom in southern areas of the state but just showing a little green in more northern areas. Apples range from green tip in the north to tight cluster in southern areas of the state.

Showing Lafayette 2016 tempatures are higher than all previous years except 2012

Fig 1

Another Early Spring

Spring is off to an early start around the state again. For many growers this will bring back memories of 2012, and as we all remember, that did not go well for growers. To measure the effect of temperature on tree growth, we usually talk in terms of Growing Degree Days or GDD. This is the average daily temperature minus some base temperature below which we don’t expect any development to occur. For many of our temperate fruit crops, the base is 50F (10C). Exactly the same method is used to measure insect development.

Until a week ago, temperatures in Lafayette were tracking pretty much the same as 2012. Thankfully the last week has seen cooler temperatures which has helped delay things a little. The latest data we have (Fig. 1) show that we’re about 2 weeks ahead of last year. It’s also interesting to note that in each of the last 7 years we’ve been significantly earlier than our long term average.

Cooler weather in the forecast ahead is a mixed blessing.  Growers in the northern half of the state have most fruit crops just starting to grow so the forecasted cooler weather will help slow crop development reducing the risk of frost damage. In more southern areas in the state, crops such as peach are already in bloom so warm temperatures are needed for good pollination success.

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