Walnut grower Bill Carriere, Glenn, Calif., likes what he’s seeing in the orchards these days. “I’m very happy with the crop,” he says. “We’re looking forward to a good year. The weather has been beautiful the last few months. Only a few days have been over 100 degrees and we haven’t had the sunburn those days normally cause.”
His business, Carriere and Son Partnership looks after its own Carriere Family Farms orchards and manages walnut production for clients in Glenn, Butte and Colusa counties.
As other walnut growers are experiencing this season, his Howards are bearing a heavy crop. In fact, in mid-June Carriere began cutting branch ends to lighten the load and prevent losing big limbs. This follows a heavy crop last year during which some of his trees broke in half under the load.
Of his two other main varieties, the Hartleys look as good or better than last year, he reports, while production of the Chandlers appears to be down slightly from the big crop he harvested last year. “Some people are saying their Chandlers are down about 20 percent,” Carriere says. “But, ours aren’t off quite that much, more like 10 percent.”
He describes his other walnut varieties, at this point, as a decent crop.
Meanwhile, this year’s cooler weather has helped keep coddling moth pressure on his orchards slightly below normal, he adds. The first flight was an extended one, with two peaks, beginning about April 15 and ending around May 5. Despite making spray management a little more difficult, the insects didn’t cause much damage, Carriere notes.
The start of the second flight began on July 4. “It was more uniform, with one nice peak rather than a bunch of small flights,” he says.