2013: Week 9 at the Source (Week 11 in the Market)Rain: The same precipitation pattern continued into week 09 at the source with cumulative rainfall for the week of 73.6 mm (almost 3 inches), concentrated towards the end of the week with very heavy downpours.
Temperature: The minimum air temperature improved slightly reaching 22.3°C (72.3°F) but the average temperature remained at 25.6°C (78°F). The average soil temperature decreased slightly to 25.9°C (78.7 °F) due to the higher rainfall. Solar radiation was low due to a dense cloud cover that was present the whole week. Relative humidity increased significantly to 88.9 % - a more normal level in our tropical location.
Observations: We are still living the slow growth curve brought about by the cooler weather of weeks past and while the last two weeks have brought slight increases in minimum and average temperatures its effects still does not translate into an improvement in the internal quality of the fruit. The sudden increase in precipitation during the last 2 weeks also makes us hesitate in bringing about a too rapid change in the harvest age for fear of developing internal water spotting and high translucency. We do expect to complete the age increase during the next 2 weeks. The updated ribbon count (NDF incidence measurement) indicates a significantly lower incidence this year if compared to the previous two years. Our farms do not expect the pronounced volume peak previously experienced sometime between weeks 18 to 24 of each year. It seems that no one is talking about an NDF peak this year.