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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

Posted: March 24th, 2020, 10:10 am
by Merrill Lindquist
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.

Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

Posted: March 24th, 2020, 5:22 pm
by Casey Hartlip
Stinking quarter of an inch of rain and now frost tonight. Insult to injury.

Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

Posted: March 25th, 2020, 1:37 pm
by Emilio Castelli
Hail right now in Green Valley.
Weird.
Don't think we'll get any damage but it's pretty hard.
E

Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

Posted: March 25th, 2020, 5:59 pm
by Casey Hartlip
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.

Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

Posted: March 25th, 2020, 6:21 pm
by Merrill Lindquist
Pouring rain here right now, and even some thunder. Have about 1/2 inch in the last couple of days.
Cab is still tight.

Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

Posted: March 26th, 2020, 1:33 pm
by Emilio Castelli
Let's ee.
Coronavirus, hail, frost damage...no locusts yet....
E

Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

Posted: March 26th, 2020, 3:39 pm
by Casey Hartlip
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.

Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

Posted: March 26th, 2020, 5:38 pm
by Merrill Lindquist
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.

Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

Posted: March 26th, 2020, 6:25 pm
by Casey Hartlip
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Walking the post frost vineyard. 40+ year old Pinot vines waking up.

Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

Posted: March 26th, 2020, 7:48 pm
by Stewart Johnson
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.

Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

Posted: March 26th, 2020, 8:07 pm
by Steve Carson
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.

Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

Posted: March 27th, 2020, 5:21 am
by Merrill Lindquist
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.

Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

Posted: March 27th, 2020, 12:57 pm
by Casey Hartlip
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.

Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

Posted: March 28th, 2020, 6:31 am
by Casey Hartlip
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!

Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

Posted: March 28th, 2020, 7:54 am
by Merrill Lindquist
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.

Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

Posted: March 30th, 2020, 11:23 am
by Casey Hartlip
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One of our better stands of cover crop. The beans and peas are getting close to giving us the mow down signal.

Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

Posted: March 31st, 2020, 7:26 am
by Casey Hartlip
The last 48 hours have been a big disappointment rain wise. However the coming weekend is showing an inch possible.

Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

Posted: April 1st, 2020, 10:09 am
by Merrill Lindquist
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.

Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

Posted: April 1st, 2020, 11:50 am
by Casey Hartlip
Pretty good likelihood of a long frost night tonight.

Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

Posted: April 1st, 2020, 12:26 pm
by Merrill Lindquist
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.

Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

Posted: April 1st, 2020, 3:14 pm
by Paul Gordon
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

Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

Posted: April 1st, 2020, 6:04 pm
by Casey Hartlip
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.

Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

Posted: April 1st, 2020, 7:15 pm
by Merrill Lindquist
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).

Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

Posted: April 2nd, 2020, 4:22 pm
by Casey Hartlip
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.

Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

Posted: April 3rd, 2020, 1:16 pm
by Casey Hartlip
Bumped into a fellow grower and he let some Chardonnay go unprotected last night because of low water.

Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

Posted: April 3rd, 2020, 1:58 pm
by Merrill Lindquist
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.

Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

Posted: April 3rd, 2020, 4:33 pm
by Casey Hartlip
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.

Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

Posted: April 5th, 2020, 6:49 am
by Casey Hartlip
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.

Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

Posted: April 5th, 2020, 7:55 am
by Merrill Lindquist
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.

Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

Posted: April 5th, 2020, 10:11 am
by Casey Hartlip
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.

Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

Posted: April 5th, 2020, 12:59 pm
by Merrill Lindquist
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.

Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

Posted: April 5th, 2020, 10:07 pm
by Sean Devaney
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.

Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

Posted: April 6th, 2020, 3:53 pm
by Stewart Johnson
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.

Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

Posted: April 6th, 2020, 5:33 pm
by Casey Hartlip
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.

Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

Posted: April 6th, 2020, 6:14 pm
by Merrill Lindquist
And it is underway, now, for the 2020 season. Bud break very visible. Pray for frost free nights and mornings.

Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

Posted: April 7th, 2020, 4:59 pm
by Casey Hartlip
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.

Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

Posted: April 8th, 2020, 4:41 pm
by Andrew Demaree
Posting for Merrill:
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29BDC734-A373-4619-942C-2A780156E3B6.jpeg

Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

Posted: April 8th, 2020, 4:55 pm
by Merrill Lindquist
Thanks, Andy. Top photo is early budbreak on the Cabernet. The second photo is the cover crop with weeds dug already between the vines.

Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

Posted: April 8th, 2020, 5:10 pm
by Casey Hartlip
My guys started burning diesel today.....mowing cover crop. With so little rain the past month this should happen fast.....if nothing breaks down. Last year was SO wet were jumping around the ranch trying to find dry areas to mow. A pallet of wettable sulfur arrives tomorrow. My two tractor drivers will be working 6 day weeks for the next month.