Almond Varieties Show Promise in Ongoing Regional Testing - West Coast Nut

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Almond Varieties Show Promise in Ongoing Regional Testing

By Taylor Chalstrom | Assistant Editor
Published: December 15, 2021 • 285 views

USDA self-fertiles Yorizane (pictured) and Y117-91-03 have stood out in terms of yield, according to UCCE Pomology Farm Advisor Roger Duncan (photo courtesy Duarte Nursery.)

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Ongoing regional testing in Butte, Stanislaus and Madera counties continue to produce promising results for multiple experimental almond varieties.

UCD 18-20, an experimental pollinizer from UC Davis, and Booth from Burchell Nursery seem to be performing closest to Nonpareil compared to other varieties on the test plots (Table 1.) UCCE Pomology Farm Advisor Roger Duncan, who has been monitoring the test plots since 2014 along with UCCE’s Phoebe Gordon and Luke Milliron and UC Davis’ Bruce Lampinen, provided insight into the varieties’ success.

“Yield is probably one of the major things,” Duncan said in reference to what has stood out.

Cumulative 3rd-leaf to 7th-leaf yield data averaged from the three Central Valley test plots show UCD 18-20 and Booth at 10,940 pounds and 10,197 pounds, respectively, compared to the standard Nonpareil at 11,638 pounds.

USDA self-fertiles Yorizane and Y117-91-03 have also stood out in terms of yield, according to Duncan in UC ANR’s The Scoop newsletter, boasting a cumulative average of 10,140 pounds and 9,742 pounds, respectively. Of course, yield isn’t the only quality being assessed as ‘promising’ in these plots.

“When they’re promising, they appear to be compatible with Nonpareil (good bloom overlap), yielding well, and you don’t see any major drawbacks,” Duncan said. Hull split, harvest time, kernel quality and insect/disease susceptibility are also being assessed.

Bloom time, Duncan said, isn’t necessarily important for self-fertiles since they would theoretically be planted in a solid block in a commercial setting, but harvest time is. “We now have a lot of orchards that harvest at about the same time,” he said. “Nonpareil and Independence harvest at pretty much the same time. Shasta, which is a real up-and-coming self-fertile variety, also harvests at the same time. So, we would really like to see varieties that don’t harvest in that Nonpareil window.”

Varieties that help spread out harvest time are being increasingly sought after to relieve pressure on the processor side. Duncan said that early harvesting varieties are not common in almonds, but noted that Y117-91-03 is harvesting about one week before Nonpareil. Others, he said, are harvesting two to four weeks after Nonpareil, a good sign for increasing varietal options.

Duncan said in The Scoop that some varieties, including UCD 18-20, have a high percentage of doubles as well as other issues that might limit their adoption. For this reason, plantings of new varieties in commercial orchards are discouraged by UC until longer-term studies are conducted.

More information on experimental variety performance up to this point can be obtained by contacting Roger Duncan at raduncan@ucdavis.edu or (209) 525-6800.

 

Average Cumulative Yield for First Five Harvests, Canopy Size as Measured by Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR) and Yield per PAR.
UC Regional Almond Variety Trials Through 2020. Cumulative Yield 3rd – 7th leaf Average PAR Cumulative Yield / PAR
Self-fertile? Average of 3 Trials Butte County Stanislaus County Madera County
Nonpareil 11638 12949 8520 13446 69 169
UCD 18-20 10940 11412 9290 12118 64 171
Booth 10197 11312 8103 11176 72 142
Y117-91-03 Yes 10140 10103 9412 12142 67 151
Yorizane Yes 9742 9061 7965 13021 56 174
Capitola 9701 9727 8069 11307 74 131
Aldrich 9668 10989 8162 9855 63 154
Y117-86-03 Yes 9392 8256 7778 10764 58 162
Bennett-Hickman 9331 8660 8950 10324 63 148
Durango 9316 9944 7969 9699 64 146
Kester 9304 8660 7993 11260 67 139
Winters 9195 9923 7887 9777 61 151
Jenette 9161 10222 6185 11078 57 161
UCD 8-201 Yes 8910 8979 7167 10148 56 159
UCD 8-160 Yes 8821 8694 8353 9416 49 180
Sterling 8570 7888 7490 10061 69 124
Eddie 8422 7908 7255 10102 67 126
Folsom 8245 8693 6684 9368 71 116
UCD 1-16 8106 8171 6496 9650 60 135
Sweetheart 8005 7429 6806 10372 72 111
UCD 7-159 Yes 7966 7960 8129 7756 59 135
Supareil 7723 6964 6644 9292 76 102
UCD 1-232 Yes 7396 8181 6881 7034 58 128
UCD 8-27 Yes 7049 7438 5151 8349 64 110
Y121-42-99 Yes 6208 6208
UCD 3-40 5731 6940 5867 3940 68 84
UCD 1-271 Yes 5473 4887 6537 4836 61 90
Taylor Chalstrom
Assistant Editor at JCS Marketing, Inc. | + posts

Taylor is the new Digital Content Editor at JCS Marketing Inc., coming on to the team in June 2020 as an editorial intern. He previously attended Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, earning a degree in Agricultural Science and a minor in Agricultural Communication. Taylor wrote for AgCircle, Cal Poly’s award-winning agriculture magazine produced by the Brock Center for Agricultural Communication, for two and a half years before becoming Brock’s Associate Editor for writing in his final year at Cal Poly.