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Agriculture

Freezing temps impact almond bloom

in Agriculture/Community/Weather

Almond blossoms are a common sight in the Central Valley come February, but recent freezing temperatures could jeopardize this year’s bloom — and, subsequently, the upcoming almond crop. 

Freezing temperatures are of the most concern during the bloom period. During the bloom, and especially right after the petal fall, is the most vital period of time for the developing nut. Even just a short, 30-minute exposure to freezing temperatures can cause measurable damage to a crop. 

There were eight days in February where Turlock and surrounding towns experienced low temperatures of below 32 degrees, causing significant concerns for local farmers. Temperatures locally will drop to below freezing again this weekend.

Continue Reading on Turlock Journal

TID lands $20 million grant to see if placing solar panels atop canals makes sense

in Agriculture
An artist rendering shows how solar panels might be placed atop the California Aqueduct in western Stanislaus County. SOLAR AQUAGRID LLC
An artist rendering shows how solar panels might be placed atop the California Aqueduct in western Stanislaus County. SOLAR AQUAGRID LLC

The Turlock Irrigation District plans to use a $20 million state grant to demonstrate solar panels atop canals.

TID would be the first water agency in the nation to try such a thing if its board votes Tuesday to accept the money.

The panels would feed electricity into transmission lines already along the canals, helping TID boost the renewable sources for its 103,000 or so power customers. The devices also would shade the water, possibly reducing evaporation losses for farmers.

The pilot project grew out of a study last year at the Merced and Santa Cruz campuses of the University of California. Researchers said installing canal panels throughout the Central Valley could get the state halfway to its goal for climate-safe power.

Continue Reading on The Modesto Bee

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