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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Hamilton, Alabama
    Posts
    1,211

    Default California drought declaration

    The first drought declaration has been announced.

    http://www.mercurynews.com/science/c...ov-jerry-brown

    As noted in the article, fires will be much more common, firefighters will be hired of necessity, agricultural crops will have irrigation water diverted to other uses. Well drillers should see a bonanza as almond growers drill wells in record numbers. What will be the impact on almond pollination which should start in @3 weeks? Probably will reduce the bloom period and quality of bloom. Growers may deliberately pull bees out of almonds early to avoid higher fruit set which drives increased water requirements by the trees.
    DarJones - 44 years, 10 colonies (max 40), sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 11 frame broodnest, small cell

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,135

    Default Re: California drought declaration

    No surprise here, we haven't had a good winter in 3 years.
    With almond bloom only a couple weeks away, I'd be surprised if they make any changes until after bloom. At that time they might cut down some of the old orchards that need to be replaced anyway, & divert that water to the younger trees.
    Some of the growers who also grow row crops just won't plant them this year, & divert that water to nuts.
    Then you have the growers who just got too greedy & planted every acre they can find in almonds knowing darn well the conditions of growing in the central valley, etc
    Dan

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Morro Bay, California, USA
    Posts
    838

    Default Re: California drought declaration

    Yup.

    My county has had a total of 2.43 inches recorded in the 2013 calendar year. Long-term average (85 years) is 22.6". In the 2013-14 winter rain season, we have had 0.63" (September-January). Long term average for the comparable period is 12.27"

    Almonds (in a Orland Ca study) get about 5 inches of precip, and use about 5 inches of soil storage along with about 34 inches of irrigation (for a total of about 44 inches of total water use). The can be managed under a "Deficit Irrigation" scheme -- held to a minimum during summer -- and the supplemental irrigation held to about 27 inches. Hard to do when there is no soil water, however. Bud differentiation happens in the autumn, so droughty trees go light the following year. Trees under drought stress in summer have shells that don't split and are graded down.

    Almonds get the first irrigation of the season, so the annual summer crops (cotton, melon, etc) may be most affected or completely fallowed. Winter deliveries are already being eliminated, so orchard farmers trying to bank water by over-irrigation in the soil are out-of-luck. Where the local Ca bees will move after the almonds and fruit bloom is a mystery to me.

    Almonds have lower irrigation demand than grapes -- so we may see vinyard > orchard conversion accelerate. This is already happening as export crop almonds have a higher return than the vinyard oversupply.

    My guess is almonds will see export/consumer substitution of cheaper nuts. This may affect the planting boom - as demands sours.

    The spring (Feb-March-April) can still surprise. The "Miracle March" of 1991 -- 13" in March, '91 locally -- saved irrigation in an otherwise devastatingly dry year.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,355

    Default Re: California drought declaration

    As I have posted elsewhere I think there is gonna be a big impact on Queen and package production? I've already decided honey production isn't happening no matter what happens from here on out. Not many agree with me yet but with another 10 day forecast of dry weather and another new high building in off the coast the nice weather walking us down the path to destruction is gonna change some minds when queens aren't available and packages go to $130.00. The guys with the Hawaiian queen operations have got to be chomping at the bit to deliver their wheelbarrels full of cash to the bank come this fall. Market price is gonna soar.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,355

    Default Re: California drought declaration

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    The first drought declaration has been announced.

    http://www.mercurynews.com/science/c...ov-jerry-brown
    Growers may deliberately pull bees out of almonds early to avoid higher fruit set which drives increased water requirements by the trees.

    Won't work as almonds are not apples????????????????

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,135

    Default Re: California drought declaration

    The queen producers I've visited feed all season anyway, not sure how it will affect them.
    It cut our summer honey big time last year. we got less than 1/2 what we predicted. Spring was just a little below average.
    Dan

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,355

    Default Re: California drought declaration

    Quote Originally Posted by KQ6AR View Post
    The queen producers I've visited feed all season anyway, not sure how it will affect them.
    What is the correlation between pollen availability and queen production and quality? Do you think there is any? If so are the current conditions adverse enough to warrant concern about the droughts implications on queen "raising? " Can we "fake" pollen(substitutes) like we can fake honey (syrup) during queen development, mating, and laying?????

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Sacramento, Calif. USA
    Posts
    272

    Default Re: California drought declaration

    The drought in central California as seen from 35,000 feet on Jan. 13:

    Yosemite National Park has just traces of snow cover in the high country: http://imageshack.com/a/img541/1572/oj1m.jpg

    Lake McClure northeast of Merced, Calif. http://imageshack.com/a/img39/9820/c9h4.jpg

    Eastman lake northeast of Madera, Calif. http://imageshack.com/a/img545/6021/54f2.jpg

    Hensley Lake northeast of Madera, Calif.http://imageshack.com/a/img401/7001/1u0a.jpg

    Millerton Lake northeast of Fresno, Calif.http://imageshack.com/a/img713/117/a7m7.jpg

    Pine Flat Lake east of Fresno, Calif. http://imageshack.com/a/img11/1378/zl0s.jpg

    Accuweather's precipitation outlook for California in Feb & March is bleak: http://tinyurl.com/kocrkjz

    And NOAA's long range outlook is for above average temperatures over most of California this coming summer: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/product...nal.php?lead=6

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    monterey Ca USA
    Posts
    82

    Default Re: California drought declaration

    Maybe Moonbeam will cancel the bullet train to nowhere and put some of those billions towards diverting some of the delta water for irrigation instead of releasing it into the ocean.... Never mind thats a terrible idea I forgot about the delta smelt.... I'll shut up now.....

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    monterey Ca USA
    Posts
    82

    Default Re: California drought declaration

    No wait, I got it! Build the train to nowhere then rail the water in????

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    monterey Ca USA
    Posts
    82

    Default Re: California drought declaration

    Ha!!!! Better yet build a high speed aqueduct!!!! Yes thats it! I'm running for governor, maybe I can get Mr. Acebird to be my campaign manager???

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    SOMERSET, ENGLAND
    Posts
    335

    Default Re: California drought declaration

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueDiamond View Post
    The drought in central California as seen from 35,000 feet on Jan. 13:
    Wish we could swap a couple of months of California's weather for a couple months of ours in UK, seems to be no happy medium these days.
    Much of UK is like in some of these google pictures below.
    https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=ae...iw=819&bih=513

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    syracuse n.y.
    Posts
    1,895

    Default Re: California drought declaration

    Quote Originally Posted by treetrunk View Post
    Yes thats it! I'm running for governor, maybe I can get Mr. Acebird to be my campaign manager???
    sorry, we tried to get Mr. Acebird into politics in N.Y., he declined, Maybe a better offer will get him out there though
    mike syracuse ny
    I went to bed mean, and woke up meaner. Marshal Dillon

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,073

    Default Re: California drought declaration

    Quote Originally Posted by treetrunk View Post
    Ha!!!! Better yet build a high speed aqueduct!!!! Yes thats it! I'm running for governor ...
    Oh, ye of little faith ...

    I lived in Washington state in the 1970s, and the bogeyman of shipping water from Washington rivers to California was a topic of serious political debate.

    And then there was the proposed scheme of towing icebergs from the Arctic to California and melting them to harvest the water. And how does that tie in with treetrunk's quote, you ask ...


    Image linked from and more info here: http://www.theatlantic.com/technolog...chemes/243364/

    The Rand Corporation was not perceived to be a nut-case outfit - Rand had multiple Pentagon contracts for all kinds of research, and is still around today.

    See the link for for more on other efforts at iceberg towing to enable fresh water harvest.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,135

    Default Re: California drought declaration

    You make a good point, probably more important than the fact they are fed HFCS instead of honey. Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by Honey-4-All View Post
    What is the correlation between pollen availability and queen production and quality? Do you think there is any? If so are the current conditions adverse enough to warrant concern about the droughts implications on queen "raising? " Can we "fake" pollen(substitutes) like we can fake honey (syrup) during queen development, mating, and laying?????
    Dan

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Cleveland, OH, USA
    Posts
    475

    Default Re: California drought declaration

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueDiamond View Post
    The drought in central California as seen from 35,000 feet on Jan. 13:

    Yosemite National Park has just traces of snow cover in the high country: http://imageshack.com/a/img541/1572/oj1m.jpg

    Lake McClure northeast of Merced, Calif. http://imageshack.com/a/img39/9820/c9h4.jpg

    Eastman lake northeast of Madera, Calif. http://imageshack.com/a/img545/6021/54f2.jpg

    Hensley Lake northeast of Madera, Calif.http://imageshack.com/a/img401/7001/1u0a.jpg

    Millerton Lake northeast of Fresno, Calif.http://imageshack.com/a/img713/117/a7m7.jpg

    Pine Flat Lake east of Fresno, Calif. http://imageshack.com/a/img11/1378/zl0s.jpg

    Accuweather's precipitation outlook for California in Feb & March is bleak: http://tinyurl.com/kocrkjz

    And NOAA's long range outlook is for above average temperatures over most of California this coming summer: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/product...nal.php?lead=6
    Yeah I'm getting a sinking feeling about 2014 for a lot of us, agriculture-wise. Hopefully it won't be bad, though. In the meantime, hang in there as best you can. Try to think happy thoughts or something...
    Beeless since 2012; coming back in 2014. Suffering from apicultural withdrawal!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,833

    Default Re: California drought declaration

    We already ship over half of what used to go to the Delta down south, get over it. It's not just about smelt, it's about the whole delta ecosystem.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    New York City, NY
    Posts
    4,317

    Default Re: California drought declaration

    So, what's the plan for pollination in California?

    While we can say that you should plan for the worst, and hope for the best, I'm unaware of the contingency plan.

    Pollinators were hoping for record high prices, but now it looks like California is going to hang a sign saying, "Pollination cancelled due to rain: there wasn't any."

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    310

    Default Re: California drought declaration

    Slightly off topic... driving through San Luis Obispo to San Simeon today I noticed several large holding yards with several hundred single deeps. All around here is only dry grass, brown hills and not much else. What are the bees going to pollinate? Is there a crop coming online soon that requires so many bees in this area? Just curious...

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,073

    Default Re: California drought declaration

    Almonds ...
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

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