Difficult Weather Poses Boron Problems
Growers in this region consistently deal with challenging weather conditions. Boron deficiencies are common, especially in the rainy Pacific Northwest (PNW) and drought-affected areas of California. Because the climate and geography vary greatly, growing conditions and nutrient requirements differ throughout the region.
California’s Central Valley is one of the most productive agricultural areas in the world. The valley's irrigated farmland supports all types of non-tropical crops and is the largest U.S. producer of tomatoes, grapes, and almonds. Napa and Sonoma counties, once the producer of many different crops, are now primarily focused on wine production, although many farmers have planted fruit and nut trees, such as plums and pears, to diversify the local agricultural economy.
The PNW is the wettest part of the United States with scattered rain showers all year round. Temperatures are moderate, making it ideal for fruit trees. Further inland, long winters and a short growing season combined with low relative humidity can prove challenging to farmers. Precipitation can vary a great deal depending on elevation. Irrigated land in several major river valleys makes it possible for farmers to cultivate sugar beets, beans, potatoes, and hay. In the non-irrigated land at higher elevations, the principal crops are hay and small grains, such as wheat, barley, and oats, along with flax, safflower, and alfalfa. Washington and Idaho also have some of the best potato-growing conditions in the US, characterized by warm daytime temperatures and cool nights.