The shift in season across West Africa means that temperatures slowly decrease in April and May.
However, in the Abengourou department in Ivory Coast, the daily average temperatures continued to stay high until mid-April due to the worryingly high daytime temperatures, which were only partially offset by below-average ones at night.
The good news is that, thanks to the cool nights, trees did not “waste” extra sugars to maintain the existing biomass. The bad news is that the mild stress during the day, combined with the slowdown of biochemical processes at nighttime may have affected leaf flushing, root production and flower initiation. In addition, the canopy renewal may have been slower than previously thought, and the setting more gradual.
In this last week, the temperatures in the Abengourou department fell back in line with the long-term average. If current temperatures hold, the trees should be ready to promptly invest in the setting for the coming main crop.