California Agricultural Commissioners Declare Bloom

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, Regulation

agricultural

California agricultural commissioners declared the citrus bloom is now underway in Tulare, Fresno and Kern counties. This establishes the beginning of a time when the use of insecticides is greatly restricted in citrus groves. These restrictions enable bees to work the citrus blossoms while reducing the potential of serious pesticide damage to the bees.

Kern County Agricultural Commissioner Glenn Fankhauser announced that 12:01 a.m., March 24, 2020 is the date establishing the 10 percent bloom stage for all citrus North of 7th Standard Road.

Tulare County Agricultural Commissioner Tom Tucker announced the beginning of the citrus bloom period in his area began at 1:00 a.m. on March 28, 2020.

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Fresno County Agricultural Commissioner Melissa Cregan announced that the beginning of the citrus bloom period in Citrus Bee Protection Districts 2 and 3 has begun by April 1, 2020.

Personnel of the Fresno County Department of Agriculture will be checking the citrus groves in District 4 to determine when the bloom begins there. This should occur within a few days. A map of the districts is available from the Fresno County Department of Agriculture.

All citrus growers, pest control operators and beekeepers must comply with the regulations covering the citrus/bee protection areas (sections 6654 and 6656, California Code of Regulations). The area within 1 mile of any citrus planting of 1 acre or more is designated as a citrus/bee protection area.

“As it starts to warm up, the blossoms start to pop open quicker and that will have a tendency to shorten that time period,” said Tulare County Agricultural Commissioner Tom Tucker. “So, we’re at the mercy of mother nature and the weather in this matter, but we certainly keep an eye on it.

Anyone having questions regarding the bloom period or the citrus/bee regulations should call the appropriate county agricultural commissioner. Locate your commissioner at https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/exec/county/countymap/.

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Len Wilcox

Correspondent at Large for Citrus Industry Magazine and AgNet West