Almond farmers across the state have focused their thoughts on the flowering season ahead. One of the crucial components of a successful nut set is proper nutrition for the flowers. In his area north of Sacramento, agronomist Matt Comrey of Wilbur Ellis Technical Nutrition said the trees are lagging a bit because of temperatures and soil type. Flowering is expected nationwide in the next 10 to 14 days and growers are working to make the most of it.
“I think with foliage nutrition I always emphasize that people leave as early as possible,” said Comrey. “Your boron products, really this product, must be used before the flowers bloom, before the flowers are opened. It plays such a large role in pollen tube elongation and cell division that it must be attached to or infused into developing buds prior to flowering. “
Growers are also encouraged to meet their nitrogen needs before flowering. Comrey also mentioned that potassium products are an important factor in flower nutrition. Treating the diet early will help maximize the flowering ahead. “Keeping really viable buds during this flowering period will be the name of the game,” said Comrey.
Weather conditions predict a good bloom this year, with clear skies and warm temperatures forecast for much of California. Growers experienced similar flowering conditions last year, which contributed to a bumper harvest. Comrey noted that even with optimal flower nutrition, the expected yield is lower than last year.
“Last year was such a bumper crop that orchards – almond trees – can’t necessarily produce another big crop after such a heavy harvest,” noted Comrey. “When trees try to support this type of harvest at critical stages like bud differentiation and things like that, you really don’t see that many flower buds return.”
Listen to the following interview.