Articles - West Coast Nut

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Economic Benefits of Using Improved Walnut Rootstocks

Walnut production is a long-term commitment of resources in land, labor and management. Because of the lag time from field preparation and planting to first harvest, walnut production is a fiscally demanding endeavor. During production operations, orchard management is a critical factor for improving yield; this includes tree protection from soil-borne maladies. Soil-borne plant diseases include plant-parasitic nematodes (root lesion nematode, Pratylenchus vulnus, root-knot nematodes, Meloidogyne spp.), crown gall (Agrobacterium tumefaciens), and Phytophthora root and crown rots (Phytophthora spp.). Among the biotic stresses there is also the so-called “replant problem”, where the walnut...

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In Search of Chandler 2.0

It’s been more than 40 years since the University of California’s Walnut Improvement Program released a variety as successful as Chandler, which today comprises more than a third of California’s walnut acreage and is the standard to which all others are compared. That’s not for lack of effort. As Chuck Leslie, who has worked for the program for 35 years, said: “Chandler is a tough competitor.” Because of its good yields, premium quality and desirable growth characteristics, even today, California growers continue to plant Chandler in high numbers. In 2017, for example, there were more than 16,000 acres of nonbearing...

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Maximizing Biological Control Agents in Standard Nut Orchard Systems

There are limited numbers of pesticides coming down the pike, so preventing resistance and stretching the pesticides currently in the toolbox is critically important. Biological control can be a good solution, particularly if it reduces the number of sprays in a given season. Emily Symmes, UCCE Sacramento Valley Area IPM Advisor, said there are several things growers should know when working with beneficials in their orchards: (more…)

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The Dirt on Soil

As farmers, every time we attend another seminar on soils, we get the rundown on the soils chart: Sand v. Loam v. Clay. Thirty percent of “this” gives you “that.” Percolation models, clay lenses that perch water, sand streaks and grandpa’s “bitch” alkali flats are important to note. Eighty-five percent Whitney Mollic Hyploxeralfs of fan remnants from a back slope is great for my rock geek buddies that work for Geosyntech or Exxon Mobile, but without geoengineering, they are just pieces of information to most of us. What’s truly important to farmers is how quickly water and nutrients move through...

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Your Federal Marketing Order at Work: Building Demand for U.S. Pecans

It has been a year and a half since the American Pecan Council (APC) has hired a permanent executive director with full time staff. In that time, we have undergone a thorough Strategic Planning process and have implemented numerous programs that benefit the pecan industry as a whole. Industry’s unified labor is coming to fruition. The encouraging metrics and results seen from these programs thus far have shown how the federal marketing order (FMO) is succeeding.   First Three Years The first 18 months following the inception of the APC were a time of laying the groundwork of the...

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Farm Advisor Profile: David Haviland

Sometimes, a boyhood fascination with bugs starts by being surrounded by flowers. With a father who managed a large rose production nursery, David Haviland, UCCE Entomology Advisor for Kern County, often found himself working in the nursery and the packinghouse, and thus became quite familiar with the production of ornamentals. Growing up in a small town just north of Salinas, Calif., also meant that most of Haviland’s closest friends were from families also heavily involved in agriculture, particularly vegetable production. Agriculture just simply became a part of him. As kids often are, Haviland was captivated by insects from a very...

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