Articles | West Coast Nut


How to Handle Aflatoxin Rejections: Why They Occur, How to Avoid Them

How to Handle Aflatoxin Rejections: Why They Occur, How to Avoid Them Having a shipment of almonds rejected by an overseas port for excessive aflatoxin can be expensive, and it’s especially frustrating when pre-export testing appeared to show that the lot in question was fine. (more…)

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Economic Outlook for the 2019 Almond Pollination Season

By Brittney Goodrich, Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology, Auburn University

Happy New Year! With every new year comes the realization that almond orchards will be in full bloom before long. This article summarizes some considerations for this year’s almond bloom, as well as what to expect in terms of colony supplies and pollination fees in the years to come.   The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates that there were 1.1 million bearing almond acres in 2018. According to the USDA Cost of Pollination Survey, 1.5 million colonies were used in almond pollination in 2017, with an average 1.6 colonies/acre. This is down from the 2016 average of 1.7...

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Mating Disruption: A Crucial Tool for Nut Growers

By Kathy Coatney Editor

Mating disruption for navel orangeworm (NOW) has been widely tested throughout California with numerous research studies, and peer-reviewed research has demonstrated its efficacy. Mating disruption is a very simple process. Females emit pheromones, males use those pheromones to find the female. If an orchard is flooded with artificially produced pheromone the entire orchard smells like a female and the males struggle to find the real females. If they don’t find each other, they don’t mate, and if they don’t mate there are no eggs, no larvae, and less overall nut damage.   Mating Disruption in Almonds and Pistachios Navel orangeworm...

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Managing and Controlling Canker Diseases in Almonds and Walnuts

By Cecilia Parsons Associate Editor

Options to control Botryospaeria (BOT) diseases in tree nut crops include good sanitation and cultural practices to reduce the amount of inoculum in the orchard. University of California plant pathologist Themis Michallides covered the range of BOT diseases that affect walnut, pistachio and almond trees and how growers can reduce infection at the South Valley Nut Conference in Tulare.   Panicle and Shoot Blight of Pistachio Panicle and Shoot Blight of pistachio was discovered in 1984 in a commercial orchard in northern California and has become a disease of major importance. Buds infected by B. dothidea either will not emerge...

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Distribution of Chlorosis in Almond Orchards

By: Elizabeth J. Fichtner, Farm Advisor, UCCE Tulare and Kings Counties;
and Mae Culumber, Farm Advisor, UCCE Fresno County,
and Bruce Lampinen, Extension Specialist, UC Davis

The first step in assessing the cause of canopy chlorosis and decline in an orchard is mapping the distribution of the symptoms. If a pattern of chlorosis is similar across irrigation lines, then the cause of the problem may be related to over—or under—watering. Two scenarios present themselves regularly during summer farm calls: a) terminal tree chlorosis, and b) within row tree chlorosis (Figures 1 and 2). Figure 1. A) Chlorosis of end tree indicates excessive water on last tree in row; B) Chlorosis of overall orchard with healthy tree at end of row indicates overwatering at orchard level, and...

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UAV Research Shows Promise

By Kathy Coatney Editor

What do drones or UAVs, unmanned aerial vehicles, hold for the future for agriculture? Currently, there are three main uses for UAVs in nut orchards. 1. Multispectral imaging sensors that are mounted to the drone. In the past, the sensors were much larger and they had to be on a manned aircraft, then flown over an orchard. It was very expensive and could only be done a few times a year, but now there are compact sensors and growers can pilot the drones themselves. They can scan their orchards as frequently as they want for a fraction of the cost....

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