Articles - West Coast Nut

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Investing in New Technology?

A well-thought-out plan for use of new technology and a clear understanding of your goals when adopting it can ensure a return on investment. Seth Hansen, independent PCA/CCA and owner of Reliant Crop Services in Fresno, said a grower should be guided by their valuation of their farming operation and a long- and short-term vision of what they intend to achieve. “We have all been to meetings and trade shows and seen the latest and greatest in technology, but first you have to figure out what you need,” Hansen said. “Will this new technology take you where you want to be?” A grower...

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Competition Heats Up

Over the past decade, California walnut production has soared to record heights as new plantings begin bearing. But production and exports from a number of other countries, including China and Chile, have grown at an even faster rate, worrying some U.S. walnut handlers. To maintain export markets, they say, marketers should continue to promote the positive reputation of U.S. walnuts, the industry’s sustainability story and the nut’s healthful profile. “It’s about reliability, honoring contracts, settling complaints and concerns promptly, things on the customer service side,” said Bill Carriere, president and CEO of Carriere Family Farms in Glenn. “California has always...

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Hazelnut Propagation: Part Two

Using tie-off layering (with hog rings) to propagate hazelnut trees is a popular method among hazelnut nurserymen. Tie-off layering and the stool-bed method can be done using young trees in the orchard rows or in a separate nursery plot. Both propagation methods require less specialized equipment and controlled growing conditions than propagating from cuttings or grafting techniques. Pruning Nursery Trees to Sucker In late winter, hazelnut grower Telly Wirth of Tangent, Ore. pruned his nursery trees back hard, lopping off all the branches to about a 36-inch-tall trunk. He then rubbed off all the “pre-buds” along the trunk with his...

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Daniel and Sarah Hrdy: Walnut Growers Embrace Research and Philanthropy

Owners of Citrona Farms LLC in Winters, Calif., Dan and Sarah Hrdy have been growing walnuts for almost 35 years. During this time, their operation has grown alongside the rest of the walnut industry and has been the subject of a series of University of California research projects focused on sustainable agriculture, habitat restoration and wildlife conservation. They have also established a research fund that will enable early stage UC Cooperative Extension projects to obtain seed money. However, growing walnuts isn’t the only thing the Hrdys have kept themselves busy with. Sarah, who grew up in Houston, Texas, is a...

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The State of the State of Water in California

With Governor Newsom’s State of the State speech likely to occur around the time this article is published, we’d like to examine one item that serves as a building block for all the issues the Governor will address: water. While unexpected storms in late 2021 brought some welcome relief to our parched state, the water cupboard was so bare, most reservoirs remain below their historic averages. The water we do have must move throughout the state by way of a complicated system of reservoirs, dams, canals, pipes and treatment plants. That movement is managed by an equally complicated network of...

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Voluntary Quality Assurance Program

2022 is certainly moving full speed ahead with the dawn of Q2 upon us. U.S. agriculture is in a pivotal and transformative era, which is leading the food and agriculture supply chain to find new ways of building resilience to combat impacts on the food supply. Fundamental shifts that were already occurring in consumer markets accelerated with the onset of the pandemic. Developing a sustainability program that includes verifiable assurance standards has never been more critical for those involved in the agricultural industry. Producers are continuing to field an increasing number of questions from consumers and customers about how their...

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