Changing temperatures and harsh weather have almond farmers concerned about their crops. Low temperatures can freeze crops and rainfall will make bloomed trees vulnerable to disease and fungus. According to farm advisor Joe Connell from the University of California Cooperative Extension most crops are in full bloom. Which is why almond farmers must act fast to protect their crops. "It's in my best interest as a farmer to apply the fungicide so that I can have a healthy crop," said local almond farmer Jeff Cripe.
Farmers like Cripe will use fungicide sprays several times during rainy seasons. Something that doesn't come cheap. For each farmer, protecting their land can come at a hefty cost as fungicide spray can cost up to $60 per acre.
The changing temperatures also keep bees from leaving their hive. Something that is crucial to the pollination process. With no bees to pollinate, crops suffer. Cripe says, "The more difficult thing is the bee pollination. The bees we use for pollination, they're very important to the crop. If the bees can't get out of their hives, then there is not going to be a good crop set."
Farmers are preparing for more days of spraying the needed fungicide to protect their crop. "I would love to see sunny days for the next month, but the forecast doesn't look like it right now. We're in for some more cold and wet," says Cripe.
There has been an ag alert issued for saturday night when temperatures are expected to dip into the mid to low 20's.