Wet weather worries some Valley growers

March 8, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
While the recent showers are welcome news to farmers across the Valley, some growers are worried even more wet weather could hurt their orchards.

When you drive through Fresno State you'll notice beautiful almond blossoms all around the campus, but these blooms are at risk of rotting when there is a lot of rain.

Workers at Fresno state spent the day spraying fungicide on these brightly colored orchards. Almonds, plums, peaches and nectarines are all blooming across the valley...and growers are concerned the rain could damage their crop.

"With repeated and frequent rains, applying the fungicide isn't enough and you'll increase the level of rot. So if this rain kept up then we would have problems with rot," Dr. Andrew Lawson said.

Lawson with the university's department of plant science says the recent showers didn't hurt campus orchards but drier weather is ideal this season.

"No rainfall is always better we like to see it dry, rainfall increases fungal diseases and increases the amount of fungicides we have to apply on our crops," Lawson said.

Valley growers are also concerned that bees won't leave their boxes in this cold wet weather.

But Fresno County Farm Bureau's Ryan Jacobsen says despite the risks to blossoms, the Valley really needs this rainfall.

"Right now it's welcome news when it comes to the snow pack. We are in a deficit for water and building up that snow pack is obviously helpful for farmers when it comes to summer time," Jacobsen said.

The Fresno County Farm Bureau says that the ideal weather for bees to pollinate is in 52 to 55 degrees with no rain.

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