2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

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Merrill Lindquist
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#101 Post by Merrill Lindquist » March 24th, 2020, 10:10 am

We are getting a nice steady rain here this morning. Will wet the ground nicely so the guys can dig the weeds between the vines. Then we can mow and disk between the rows and get on with this.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#102 Post by Casey Hartlip » March 24th, 2020, 5:22 pm

Stinking quarter of an inch of rain and now frost tonight. Insult to injury.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#103 Post by Emilio Castelli » March 25th, 2020, 1:37 pm

Hail right now in Green Valley.
Weird.
Don't think we'll get any damage but it's pretty hard.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#104 Post by Casey Hartlip » March 25th, 2020, 5:59 pm

Tonight will be a no brainier frost night. North wind blew pretty strong this afternoon and you could feel the bite. We are rolling the dice on a few fields that were pruned late and aren't quite at pencil eraser stage. True I will direct my two foremen while in my jammies at home but I'll lose about the same amount of sleep as they do..... I'll just be warmer.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#105 Post by Merrill Lindquist » March 25th, 2020, 6:21 pm

Pouring rain here right now, and even some thunder. Have about 1/2 inch in the last couple of days.
Cab is still tight.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#106 Post by Emilio Castelli » March 26th, 2020, 1:33 pm

Let's ee.
Coronavirus, hail, frost damage...no locusts yet....
E
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#107 Post by Casey Hartlip » March 26th, 2020, 3:39 pm

Casey Hartlip wrote:
March 25th, 2020, 5:59 pm
Tonight will be a no brainier frost night. North wind blew pretty strong this afternoon and you could feel the bite. We are rolling the dice on a few fields that were pruned late and aren't quite at pencil eraser stage. True I will direct my two foremen while in my jammies at home but I'll lose about the same amount of sleep as they do..... I'll just be warmer.
It certainly happened in our area last night. Some wind machines started around 11:00. One of our properties started protecting at 1:30 but fog came in shortly after. Will probably happen again tonight with a lower inversion layer and shorter duration.....I hope.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#108 Post by Merrill Lindquist » March 26th, 2020, 5:38 pm

Our neighborhood also started the wind machines at around 11:00. But not around the Cabernet vineyards - they are still tight. But plenty of Merlot and other stuff around that may have broken bud already.

My lone Thompson Seedless table grape vine is leafed out, but I checked and it has not suffered frost damage. The cover crop is between knee and armpit level, depending upon where it grows in the vineyard. The bell beans are slow this year, with the sweet pea outgrowing it, which is unusual.

Poppies are popping up (no pun intended) all over the yard and roadsides - it's a beautiful time of year up here.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#109 Post by Casey Hartlip » March 26th, 2020, 6:25 pm

IMG_20200326_113428699.jpg
Walking the post frost vineyard. 40+ year old Pinot vines waking up.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#110 Post by Stewart Johnson » March 26th, 2020, 7:48 pm

Merrill Lindquist wrote:
March 26th, 2020, 5:38 pm
My lone Thompson Seedless table grape vine is leafed out, but I checked and it has not suffered frost damage. The cover crop is between knee and armpit level, depending upon where it grows in the vineyard. The bell beans are slow this year, with the sweet pea outgrowing it, which is unusual.
My cover crop is really light this year, and I had thought that was the case pretty widely. The cattle guys in the neighborhood are bemoaning the lack of grass. Sounds like you are bucking the trend.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#111 Post by Steve Carson » March 26th, 2020, 8:07 pm

Edward H. Earles wrote:
February 12th, 2020, 4:15 am
Casey Hartlip wrote:
February 11th, 2020, 5:22 pm
The grape market will be a very big story as spring develops. More on that later.
There are lots of reports of a California grape glut in the wine press.
I have a strong suspicion in my AVA, Lodi, a lot of growers are going to have a tough year selling grapes. It was starting that way last harvest, the reports were things were going to be even worse this year (the Silicon Valley Bank report), and that was before coronavirus. Many wineries are probably going to scale tonnage back.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#112 Post by Merrill Lindquist » March 27th, 2020, 5:21 am

Stewart Johnson wrote:
March 26th, 2020, 7:48 pm
Merrill Lindquist wrote:
March 26th, 2020, 5:38 pm
My lone Thompson Seedless table grape vine is leafed out, but I checked and it has not suffered frost damage. The cover crop is between knee and armpit level, depending upon where it grows in the vineyard. The bell beans are slow this year, with the sweet pea outgrowing it, which is unusual.
My cover crop is really light this year, and I had thought that was the case pretty widely. The cattle guys in the neighborhood are bemoaning the lack of grass. Sounds like you are bucking the trend.
My site gets probably the most rain of anywhere in Napa County. If it rains in Napa County, it pours at my site. I use no Roundup or other chemicals for weed control. Fertilizer is organic fish emulsion, applied 3 times annually. Weeds are hand dug. The soil is gravelly loam, and in general, is just happy here.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#113 Post by Casey Hartlip » March 27th, 2020, 12:57 pm

Steve Carson wrote:
March 26th, 2020, 8:07 pm
Edward H. Earles wrote:
February 12th, 2020, 4:15 am
Casey Hartlip wrote:
February 11th, 2020, 5:22 pm
The grape market will be a very big story as spring develops. More on that later.
There are lots of reports of a California grape glut in the wine press.
I have a strong suspicion in my AVA, Lodi, a lot of growers are going to have a tough year selling grapes. It was starting that way last harvest, the reports were things were going to be even worse this year (the Silicon Valley Bank report), and that was before coronavirus. Many wineries are probably going to scale tonnage back.
Even before the CV 19 I could see that most wineries were going to wait and see what the size of the crop was before making any moves. Now its a certainty.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#114 Post by Casey Hartlip » March 28th, 2020, 6:31 am

It's looking more and more like we're not going to get our March Miracle of rainfall. Possibly a half inch coming this weekend while we're closed in. Might have to put my PPE on and go buy a pot roast!
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#115 Post by Merrill Lindquist » March 28th, 2020, 7:54 am

We had a brief but soaking rain this morning around 6:00. It has stopped for now, but the forecast for today and tomorrow is for more rain.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#116 Post by Casey Hartlip » March 30th, 2020, 11:23 am

IMG_20200330_102955791.jpg
IMG_20200330_102944394.jpg
One of our better stands of cover crop. The beans and peas are getting close to giving us the mow down signal.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#117 Post by Casey Hartlip » March 31st, 2020, 7:26 am

The last 48 hours have been a big disappointment rain wise. However the coming weekend is showing an inch possible.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#118 Post by Merrill Lindquist » April 1st, 2020, 10:09 am

Finally a sunny day! The guys are coming in good weather (but while the ground is still wet) to dig the weeds between the vines. If I manage to get that done, I'll be looking to mow and disk.
Last edited by Merrill Lindquist on April 1st, 2020, 12:25 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#119 Post by Casey Hartlip » April 1st, 2020, 11:50 am

Pretty good likelihood of a long frost night tonight.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#120 Post by Merrill Lindquist » April 1st, 2020, 12:26 pm

My Cab has not broken, but the lone Thompson Seedless that had leafed out got totally fried. That's exactly what the leaves look like: like they had been thrown into a pan with oil.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#121 Post by Paul Gordon » April 1st, 2020, 3:14 pm

Merrill Lindquist wrote:
April 1st, 2020, 12:26 pm
My Cab has not broken, but the lone Thompson Seedless that had leafed out got totally fried. That's exactly what the leaves look like: like they had been thrown into a pan with oil.
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Do you know what temp you got down to? And for how long?

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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#122 Post by Casey Hartlip » April 1st, 2020, 6:04 pm

Tonight will be the biggest and baddest of 2020 frost season.......so far. I told my two foremen to knock off at 10:00 am this morning as they'll likely be up most of the night tonight.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#123 Post by Merrill Lindquist » April 1st, 2020, 7:15 pm

Paul Gordon wrote:
April 1st, 2020, 3:14 pm
Merrill Lindquist wrote:
April 1st, 2020, 12:26 pm
My Cab has not broken, but the lone Thompson Seedless that had leafed out got totally fried. That's exactly what the leaves look like: like they had been thrown into a pan with oil.
Merrill

Do you know what temp you got down to? And for how long?

Paul
No, I don't. And I forget which night it was, but a couple/few nights ago, when the area wind machines went on at 11:00 pm and stayed on all night and until maybe around 9 the next morning.
My place is surrounded by Frediani Cabernet, and it has not broken bud yet. So they did not put on their protection (which tends to protect my space).
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#124 Post by Casey Hartlip » April 2nd, 2020, 4:22 pm

Coldest we saw last night was 29 but both ranches started protecting at 2:00 am. That's a hellofa lot of water pumped. With 6 hours of frost protection we used around 2.8 million gallons covering about 150 acres.

My guess is tonight we'll start running around 3:00-3:30 so hopefully not as long.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#125 Post by Casey Hartlip » April 3rd, 2020, 1:16 pm

Bumped into a fellow grower and he let some Chardonnay go unprotected last night because of low water.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#126 Post by Merrill Lindquist » April 3rd, 2020, 1:58 pm

Casey Hartlip wrote:
April 3rd, 2020, 1:16 pm
Bumped into a fellow grower and he let some Chardonnay go unprotected last night because of low water.
Does anyone out there use wind machines? Far more common in my agricultural area than overhead sprinklers.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#127 Post by Casey Hartlip » April 3rd, 2020, 4:33 pm

Merrill Lindquist wrote:
April 3rd, 2020, 1:58 pm
Casey Hartlip wrote:
April 3rd, 2020, 1:16 pm
Bumped into a fellow grower and he let some Chardonnay go unprotected last night because of low water.
Does anyone out there use wind machines? Far more common in my agricultural area than overhead sprinklers.
Plenty of those around. Really only useful if there is a low inversion. Also really only good for about 2 degrees of protection depending on placement and sir drainage. There has also been issues with neighbors complaining about the noise.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#128 Post by Casey Hartlip » April 5th, 2020, 6:49 am

We had some winter storm like winds last night. Blew some outside furniture around and knocked some potted plants over. It might be 78 by Wednesday. Crazy.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#129 Post by Merrill Lindquist » April 5th, 2020, 7:55 am

It rained steadily all day yesterday and it is back to raining this morning. Bring it on. No sign of huge winds as Casey reports, just rain and more rain. Which is much needed.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#130 Post by Casey Hartlip » April 5th, 2020, 10:11 am

48 hour total just passed an inch. That's something anyway. Depending on the type of soil you have that might go down about 4-8 inches. Still not much to get excited about.....but we'll take it.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#131 Post by Merrill Lindquist » April 5th, 2020, 12:59 pm

A quick survey of my vineyard just showed buds about to break open. A couple of sunny days and they'll be popping out all over.

The Thompson Seedless vine has decided to fight back and has sent out a whole new set of small green leaves to replace the ones that were toasted by the frost. Grapevines sure are interesting.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#132 Post by Sean Devaney » April 5th, 2020, 10:07 pm

Casey Hartlip wrote:
April 5th, 2020, 10:11 am
48 hour total just passed an inch. That's something anyway. Depending on the type of soil you have that might go down about 4-8 inches. Still not much to get excited about.....but we'll take it.
How does the runoff from this storm look? Just curious as I live next to a creek in the South Bay that is usually dry but I can hear a good runoff right now even though no rain for the past couple of hours. Hopefully enough to add to your frost protection.

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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#133 Post by Stewart Johnson » April 6th, 2020, 3:53 pm

Casey Hartlip wrote:
April 5th, 2020, 10:11 am
48 hour total just passed an inch. That's something anyway. Depending on the type of soil you have that might go down about 4-8 inches. Still not much to get excited about.....but we'll take it.
Does the amount of water you use in frost protection get your soil up to something like field capacity at this point? I would think that, with that extra precipitation factored in, you might closer to "normal" soil moisture than the rest of us without sprinklered frost protection.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#134 Post by Casey Hartlip » April 6th, 2020, 5:33 pm

Stewart Johnson wrote:
April 6th, 2020, 3:53 pm
Casey Hartlip wrote:
April 5th, 2020, 10:11 am
48 hour total just passed an inch. That's something anyway. Depending on the type of soil you have that might go down about 4-8 inches. Still not much to get excited about.....but we'll take it.
Does the amount of water you use in frost protection get your soil up to something like field capacity at this point? I would think that, with that extra precipitation factored in, you might closer to "normal" soil moisture than the rest of us without sprinklered frost protection.
Another great question. Although it sounded like lots of water, when frost sprinklers are running its only applying 1 inch of water on all of the ground in 10 hours. So if you were to irrigate with your frost system if you watered for 24 hours that's 2.4". When we used to water with these systems in the 80's you would have vines with super shallow roots.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#135 Post by Merrill Lindquist » April 6th, 2020, 6:14 pm

And it is underway, now, for the 2020 season. Bud break very visible. Pray for frost free nights and mornings.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#136 Post by Casey Hartlip » April 7th, 2020, 4:59 pm

IMG_20200407_112113181_HDR.jpg
Crappy pic of a Gruner shoot about 5 inches long. We will likely be dropping quite a bit of fruit in this field if all of it sets.
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