After the weekend's first significant heatwave of the season, which was covered in our previous report, we're examining how did trees and growers react and what's up next for the Valley's almonds.
AlmondBeat Report #2. Here we go.
20ᵗʰ-27ᵗʰ: Avoiding severe stress
We knew it was coming. The season's first significant heat wave that peaked during the weekend hit the valley with temperatures ranging between 85-90 ℉. But as the saying goes, before anything else preparation is the key to success. Many growers applied short-timed irrigation, making sure the soil's upper part had enough moisture (without washing away important nutrients). The result: though some level of stress was unavoidable even in irrigated blocks (as shown by the yellow indicator on the plant app), severe stress (red) was denied by this well-timed boost of water. This is evident by 2 different irrigation tactics, laid out side by side in the below picture. "A" tactic was to apply short-timed irrigation before and during the heatwave that prevented severe stress, while in "B", severe stress wasn't avoided although irrigation was applied 2-3 days earlier.
Timing is everything
27ᵗʰ April-May 4ᵗʰ: Switching to regular practices
Looking at plant status from millions of almond trees covered in the Valley, 3 keys emerge:
1. Summer is here to stay. ET Values increase by 20% again this week, totaling above 1.5 inches for the first time. During Mon-Wed heat will peak and then conditions will cool down a bit towards the weekend. 2. Now is the right time for switching to regular irrigation practices. Follow Phytech's planner calculation for block specific reference line, showing the required runtime. Irrigation is crucial during the week's first half due to the high temperatures. Applying short cycles through your blocks will also maximize water and nutrition uptake (maximum 24 hours, ideally 12 hours in case of average flow rates). 3. As always, tracking in real-time trees' water demand (plant status) allows you to adapt plans according to what your almonds truly need in order to optimize production. So that's it. Stay tuned for our next AlmondBeat Report