Articles - West Coast Nut

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California Legislative Wrap-Up for 2019

Well this legislative year is in the books…almost. In what could have been a disastrous year from a business perspective, things weren’t nearly as bad as they could have been. But that doesn’t mean it was good either! California definitely continued on its anti-business trend; but, it just didn’t go off the deep end! As we went into the legislative session for 2019, we were looking at numbers in the Assembly of 61 Democrats, 18 Republicans and 1 vacancy. That’s not just a majority, it’s a supermajority! Similarly in the Senate, California has 29 Democrats and 11 Republicans. Again, a...

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Expanded Cal/OSHA Reporting Requirements for the New Year

This year’s legislative session ended as most due, amongst a flurry of activity and last-minute wrangling to ensure bills reached the governor’s desk. In the pile, since signed by Governor Newsom, were Assembly Bills (AB) 1804 and 1805, which meaningfully modify key definitions associated with worker illness, injury and exposure. As a result of those changes, employers can expect an increase in the number of workplace incidents that now must be reported to Cal/OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health). It’s important to understand what’s different and how this will impact your operation in the new year. Key Definition Changes While modifications...

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Almond Variety Trial Continues

A new round of statewide almond variety trials were started in 2014. There are three trials, one in Chico, Salida and Chowchilla. Each trial used rootstocks that were common to the area. In Butte County, the trees are on the Krymsk® 86 rootstock. In Salida, Nemaguard rootstock was used because that area has problems with root knot nematode. In Chowchilla, Hansen peach/almond hybrid was used because it is more tolerant to drought and salinity. Almond Research Trial Joe Connell, University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) farm advisor emeritus in Butte County, helped establish the almond variety trial at California State...

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Walnut Pest Management: Walnut Husk Fly & Pacific Flatheaded Borer

It seems that growers are always battling pests in order to protect their crops. While we looked into navel orangeworm and codling moth in the first part of this two-part series, this second part shines the light on walnut husk fly and the Pacific flatheaded borer. So just how concerned should a walnut grower be about these pests? They don’t require equal interest, as one is more of a concern than the other. Walnut Husk Fly About the size of a housefly, and far more colorful, the walnut husk fly has one generation per year, in which female flies lay...

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Preventing Soil Erosion in Young Hazelnut Orchards

Soil erosion can present an issue in young hazelnut orchards. Since a ton of soil per acre is only about the thickness of a penny, it doesn’t take long to displace or lose a large quantity of top soil. But according to Nick Sirovatka, acting state agronomist for Oregon Natural Resources Conservation Service (ONRCS), cover crops or conservation crops can help prevent soil erosion, as well as provide more nutrients and water to the tree roots. “Before the canopy is over, there are different potentials for what you can do between the rows,” Sirovatka said. To illustrate this, he put...

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Churchill Fellow visits Oregon During Global Hazelnut Expedition

Global hazelnut production is amid an era of change, expansion and discovery, and one young Briton is traveling the world to chronicle it. Tom Cannon was chosen as a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust fellow, a rare honor that has afforded him the opportunity to travel the world and compare hazelnut production strategies. His worldwide journey brought him to Oregon in September to learn how American farmers manage their orchards. Third Generation Hazelnut Grower Cannon is a third-generation hazelnut—known as a cobnut in the United Kingdom (UK)—farmer in Kent, a county on the southeast coast of Great Britain that is home...

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