Cool spring weather slows down crop growth

Jun 2, 2011

UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor Manuel Jimenez, a lifelong San Joaquin Valley resident, said he can't recall another spring as cool as 2011's, according to the Porterville Recorder.

“It actually has slowed down everything,” he was quoted in the story. Crops are growing "at a turtle's pace."

Cotton and corn already suffered delays in planting because of wet weather. Backyard gardeners are seeing a slowdown in the development of tomatoes, squash and peppers. But cool springtime weather isn't all bad news.

For crops like blueberries and strawberries, the cooler weather is good. Porterville area strawberry grower Nai Saechao said the cooler weather has allowed for an extended, higher quality crop.

“The plants keep producing when it’s cold,” the grower was quoted.

The story said mild weather is expected to continue in the foreseeable future. Today and Friday temperatures will top out in the mid 70s and over the weekend another low-pressure system will keep temperatures in the low 70s, with a 20 percent chance of rain.

Though warmer days will help most crops, Jimenez said a sudden heat wave is not what farmers have in mind. That would ripen a lot of fruit all at once, flooding the market and bringing down prices.

Attached Images:

Manuel Jimenez speaks at a recent blueberry field day.

By Jeannette E. Warnert
Author - Communications Specialist