Yuba-Sutter farmers welcome expected rain
TUESDAY NIGHT: Breezy with rain likely.
WEDNESDAY: Mostly cloudy with showers.
THURSDAY: Cloudy and cool with possible showers.
Weather forecasts call for rain this week — and that is good news for farmers, but also a warning for those growing almonds and peaches.
Brown rot on blooms is a concern when wet conditions arise.
However, growers can protect the blooms by applying a preventative spray that wards off disease. Without the fungicide, brown rot can destroy a blossom and potentially hurt overall production.
The year "2006 was a spring where we basically measured days it didn't rain," said Janine Hasey, UC Cooperative Extension farm adviser for Colusa, Sutter and Yuba counties.
"And we had a low peach crop. We had hardly any peach crop that year," she said. "It just rained all of March, and it was cold, and we had very, very low production."
Rain during pollination can also hurt almond crops when it comes to bees, because they don't like to travel in the rain.
Lyndol Swartz, an almond farmer in Sutter County, said he was spraying Monday for the first time this year and that the rain is "not a bad thing."
"I hope to see about three quarters to an inch in the next couple of days," Swartz said.
South Sutter County almond farmer Kenny Wada said most of his almonds have been well-pollinated by bees. Wada said he is feeling pretty positive about the weather, noting that a friend of his just checked some moisture blocks that were dry on top, but that the moisture down below was fine.
"It would be nice to get some surface moisture," Wada said.
Sutter County Agricultural Commissioner Mark Quisenberry said soil is dry in the orchards, crops and in the Sutter Buttes, where cattle and sheep are grazing. Rain would mean more forage for those animals and better soil.
"If we have more rain in a week or two, that would be beneficial to everybody," Quisenberry said.