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Northern San Joaquin Valley is basking in the cold

Cold winter weather is good for dormant fruit and nut trees.
During the recent cold snap in California, the media turned to UC Cooperative Extension advisors for information on the weather's impact on agricultural production in the Northern San Joaquin Valley.

The consensus for this part of the state: cold weather is good news. The Stockton Record checked in with Joe Grant, UC Cooperative Extension advisor in San Joaquin County.

"We'll take any and all cold that we can at this time of year to fulfill the chilling requirements of the trees," Grant said.

Paul Verdegaal, UCCE advisor in San Joaquin County, a viticulture expert, agreed.

"The good side of the story is we're catching up on the chilling hours, which will produce a good strong bud bread and bloom for all the perennial crops," Verdegaal said. "(Subfreezing temperatures, however,) may be hurting some younger trees and vines, but generally, things are in dormancy, so it's not too much of a problem."

Maxwell Norton, UCCE advisor in Merced County, spoke to the Merced Sun-Star.

"For us out here, the cold nights are good," Norton said. "We fare quite well because we don't grow subtropical crops like citrus and avocados."

Scott Stoddard, UCCE advisor in Merced County, said crop storage facilities need to pay attention to temperature control when the weather gets very cold.

"We have a lot of sweet potatoes in storage," he said. "They guys need to make sure their storage rooms are working properly and don't get too cold."

Roger Duncan, UCCE advisor in Stanislaus County, told the Modesto Bee that warm winters are more harmful than cold snaps such as the one we're experiencing.

"Actually, this is beautiful," Duncan said. "Tree crops need cold in order to break their rest."


Read more here: http://www.modbee.com/2013/01/11/2527811/frosty-conditions-blanket-valley.html#storylink=cpy
Posted on Tuesday, January 15, 2013 at 10:03 AM

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