Articles - West Coast Nut

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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...

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Safety During the Winter Months

The winter months for permanent crop growers requires important maintenance and care in the orchards and vineyards. Pruning and thinning are commonplace, as are easily avoidable injuries. Before sending crews out to tend to this important work, remember to provide refresher training on ladder and hand-tool safety, along with the importance of using proper personal protective equipment, especially eye-protection. Ladder Safety Ladders are an integral part of upkeep in an orchard or vineyard and are easy to overlook when it comes to safe use and maintenance. The California Code of Regulations, Title 8, Section 3276 specifically addresses the proper and...

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Enforcement of Safety Programs

Do you have an “effective” safety program for your farm, huller or processor? Are you sure? You may have a complete written program, plenty of training records and documentation, but do you enforce your safety programs? Have you ever written an employee up for violation of one of your safety policies or programs? Many times we find employers have great programs but do not enforce these programs. They have great track records of having all the necessary programs, conducting all of the necessary training and being accident free. Up until that one accident where an employee does something he knows...

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What’s New in Pollination

Ensuring pollinator health is an important part of the almond industry’s future. Josette Lewis, Almond Board of California’s director of Agricultural Affairs, drove home that point in a panel discussion on innovations in pollination at The Almond Conference. Almond productivity starts with healthy bees and bee health impacts consumer perception of the sustainability of almond production. New ways to improve bee health and the importance of communication between all stakeholders during bloom were discussed by panelists. Public perception of pollinator health was shown in a survey where comments included:”We have to have bees, we need them to get our food.”...

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Hull Rot and Ganoderma Root Rot in Almonds

Hull Rot is an infection in almonds caused by one of several pathogens. The infection not only causes quality and yield problems with the current crop, but it can impact the following season’s production. Current Research Current research findings, water and nitrogen management recommendations and chemical control options were reviewed by Mohammad Yaghmour, Kern County University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) advisor at the Almond Conference. In addition to Yaghmour’s hull rot research, current information on the wood decaying fungi Ganoderma that affects almond tree health was provided by University of California (UC) Davis researcher David Rizzo and Bob Johnson,...

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Organic Walnuts

Quality organically grown walnuts are not produced with neglect but with careful planning and management. Rachel Elkins, UCCE pomology advisor for Lake and Mendocino Counties, where a large percentage of California’s organically grown walnuts are produced, said “growers need to farm their trees”, understand the need for long term planning for successful organic walnut production and to communicate with their certifier. Costs for inputs in organic walnut production, Elkins added, may be higher than in conventional production, but the market has been stable, allowing production to continue. Planting the Chandler variety has been another positive aspect of the organic market...

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