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Comment by Clay Gordon on May 26, 2010 at 10:03am
Heather -

Water is essential to cacao in several ways. Of course, it's necessary all year round to support the growth of the tree and pods. In addition, the population of midges in the leaf litter on the ground is supported by moisture. During the rainy season the midge population thrives and explodes, pollinating the flowers. If the rainy season is dry the midge population is lower and pollination rates are correspondingly lower meaning fewer pods.

There's a fascinating chapter on this topic in a book called The Chocolate Tree: A Natural History of Cacao by Allen Young.
Comment by heather andall on May 25, 2010 at 5:21pm
This is very interesting, I was working on the assumption that an extra dry, dry season , like the one we just had, would produce a bumper crop. We are just entering rainy season now, so I hope it's as wet as your was and gives us as many pods.

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