Nutrition Archives - West Coast Nut

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Nutrition



Shake the Rust Off That Shovel


A shovel. A farmer’s best friend and sometimes worst enemy. You can hear it, calling your name, beckoning you to help it shake off that winter coat of rust and get into that soil. Of course, it can’t do it alone, but the old saying, “the best thing a farmer can put on his field is his own footsteps,” rings especially true in the spring. Last year we had a few incredible deluges late in the spring here in the Central Valley of California that upset the apple cart. This year, we are praying for that again as the drought pattern has set in early. Until then, we need to see what has changed over winter, under our trees, with a good soil sample. Starting the year off with a spring soil sample allows you to create a road map for your nutrition plans. You can get a better feel...

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Foliar Nutrition


The debate over the efficacy of foliar nutrition and its benefit continues to cause some controversy. The goal should be to help our growers achieve optimal yields. Often, just recommending a nutrient because we read about it somewhere, won’t produce the desired result if we aren’t using the right formulation. I still have clients that don’t buy into foliar nutrition as they believe much of it doesn’t work. That argument of whether chemistry is taken in through the leaves is usually put to an end when I ask them a simple question; “If that were the case, you could spray your trees with glyphosate and nothing would happen, right?” Although I have many clients with a decent amount of conviction on the subject, I have yet to have any takers on the experiment. While they may be partially right on some aspects of foliar nutrient assimilation, it’s usually their analysis...

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What It Wants, When It Wants It: One Company’s Dedication to Precision Nutrition


Jeff Merritt thought he was going to be a doctor. Growing up in an agriculture family that grew peaches, nectarines, plums, and pluots, Merritt’s grandfather had roughly 1,600 acres of stone fruit, with the farm having its own packing shed and sales agency. After two bad years, it was all but gone. Highly leveraged and then used to pay off debts, the family was able to keep about 100 acres around the home. Fresh out of high school, Merritt was told there was not much left for him to be a part of, and to pursue a career in something other than agriculture. So, off he went of Fresno Pacific University, where he studied biology and chemistry with the intention of heading to medical school after graduation. “But then I didn’t see the financial benefits of that until I was fifty years old or so,” says Merritt about medical school....

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Microbes

Microbials Do They Fit Your Farm?


“It has to fit the way you farm.” Mark Abildgaard, Western Regional manager for the biological crop input provider Agrinos, was speaking about the benefits of using his company’s bio stimulant products, but also noting that not all growers have management systems where the products will work. Abildgaard, a workshop presenter at the South Valley Nut and Citrus Conference, explained that plant growth promoting soil microbes capture and digest the soil nutrient reserves from inorganic and organic fertilizers and release them in a plant usable form, particularly phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). Those microbes also capture and fix nitrogen gas for use by plants, create soil organic matter that improves soil water management and increases available nutrients in the soil. In the past decade there has been a surge in the development of microbial products for use on a wide range of crops. The products are marketed under a number...

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Is There a Need for Postharvest Nitrogen in Almonds


Is there a need for postharvest nitrogen application in almonds? This question has been has examined through research at the Nickels Soil Lab in Colusa County. Information garnered through studies by Franz Niederholzer, UCCE farm advisor Colusa and Sutter/Yuba counties and research coordinator at the Nickels Soil Lab, has shown late, postharvest application of N didn't increase yield the next year and maybe skipped – at least in the Sacramento Valley. That information and more was shared by Niederholzer during this year's annual Nickels Soil Lab Field Day. “Here at Nickels, several years back, we tried putting N on late, in October following a heavy crop year,” he said. “The trees we put the nitrogen on kept their leaves. The trees we did not put the nitrogen on lost their leaves weeks earlier than the trees that received the nitrogen. I thought then, wow, this late season nitrogen could be...

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