– Rain: More in line with the seasonal expectations, week 4 had double the precipitation of the prior week with a total accumulation of 86 mm (3.4 inches) of rainfall. We experienced heavy downpours throughout the week but the weekend was relatively dry with only a light drizzle!
– Temperature: Minimum air and soil temperatures continued to decrease. The weekly average minimum reached 21.6°C (70.9°F) – 1.2°C lower than prior week and we had three days with minimum temperatures lower than 20°C. The average temperature remained stable at 25.4°C (77.8°F) but the soil temperature decreased to 24.9°C (76.8°F) – 0.5°C lower than prior week. Solar radiation ranged from low to very low for most of the week but increased significantly during the weekend.
– Observations: Cooler temperatures, increased precipitation, and dense cloud cover have made giving external color to the fruit a rather challenging task. Also, we must remain alert as internal translucency has increased so we cannot raise harvest age any further unless we begin to lose control of sugar content and internal consistency – who says the harvest of pineapples is a science?! This weather has without a doubt now stressed plants and caused an NDF event. The field samplings performed last week have confirmed that the first NDF event occurred between week 49 and 50 of 2013 but it was very mild. A second event seems to have occurred between week 51 and 52 and we predict that during weeks 3 and 4 a third event has occurred.