Latest storms to impact nut and fruit crops, growers say

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Wednesday, March 29, 2023
Latest storms to impact nut and fruit crops, growers say
Growers say this latest storm will add to the delay we've seen in the development of this year's nut and tree fruit crop.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Almonds are already starting to form on trees, although you can still find blossoms in many Valley orchards.

A series of storms hit during the bloom period.

As a result, Fresno County Farm Bureau CEO Ryan Jacobsen believes the weather will impact some nut and fruit crops.

"We do suspect it's going to be on the smaller side when it comes to specifically almonds, simply because of that very challenging bloom period," he said.

You can also still find some of the bee boxes which were brought into almond orchards to pollinate blossoms.

But those big storms during the bloom made the bees much less active than usual.

"So when it comes to bees, they don't like to be in the wind, they don't like cold weather and they don't like rain, and that's a lot of what we had this year," Jacobsen said.

It's too early to tell how this year's peaches, plums and nectarines will be impacted.

Some locations were hit harder than others.

Almond growers still aren't out of the woods even after the nutlets have formed on the tree.

"When it's first starting to go after that very early stage, after the first days after pollination, there is a great susceptibility to freezing," Jacobsen said. "We did see some of those temperatures in the areas that go below 32 degrees for a long duration."

Jacobsen says while the storms have caused flooding in some areas, overall, the extremely wet conditions have been very helpful in recharging underground aquifers on farms and basins.