Oyo State in Nigeria has had a terrible season so far. In addition to the poor rainfall in recent months, the temperature has been worryingly high for the season and the consequences could be worse than the infamous 2015/16 season.
Since November, the average temperature has, with the exception of a short period from mid-January to early February, been consistently 1-1.5°C above the long-term average, causing a spike in evapotranspiration, stressing plants and increasing the amount of assimilates consumed to maintain plant tissues through respiration.
Compared to 2015/16, the crucial difference is that the temperature continued to remain high in March as well, which affects the plant’s resources and therefore its ability to invest in canopy renovation and proper maintenance of the pod load.
The anomaly of about 1°C recorded in March is likely to prevent the trees from setting significant numbers of new fruit for at least another month and will certainly keep bean counts high at least until the end of June.