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Crop News – Almond Bloom & Freezing Temperatures

July 12, 2022

The reality of farming is one that always seems to hold a few surprises and challenges every year. After a great start to the growing season there was an unexpected freeze in late February while the almond bloom was developing, damaging many orchards in northern and central California.

Overall the 2022 almond harvest is forecasted to be about 8% down from last year due to the freeze, but some farmers were hit much harder than others. Understandably more farmers in northern regions of California were badly affected by the freeze, in addition different varieties of almonds can bloom at slightly different times which caused more damage to certain orchards. Thankfully favourable conditions during April helped the undamaged almonds develop well as the spring progressed. 

Our conventional almond supplier has orchards in the southern area of Central California, and their orchards remained relatively unharmed. They’re expecting to harvest a similar volume of almonds to last year. 

Unfortunately the news from our organic almond supplier wasn’t quite as good. 

“In our Northern California territory, we experienced some extreme low temperatures for too long of periods of time during our bloom which has had an impact on the upcoming projected harvest yields.  Many orchards, including some of our own will be down in yield 20-30%.  In fact we have some varieties that we simply won’t harvest because the frost wiped out its entire crop. It is the hard-shell Peerless variety that got hit the hardest this past February.”

Maisie Jane Hurtado
Isidro Hurtado inspecting the orchard in late spring.

It’s difficult to know at this point in the growing season exactly how the freeze damage will affect the crop yield in the end. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that the almond crop that remains undamaged continues to have a good growing season to help make up for what was lost due to the February freeze. 

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