Ag Industry Archives - West Coast Nut

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Ag Industry



What We Know About Winter Chill and Pistachios


Eighty-degree days in the month of November did not send California pistachio trees into their winter rest period on schedule. With harvest at an end and irrigations done to fill soil profile, the trees were primed to enter their needed dormant stage, but warm days and barely cold nights are not conducive to sending pistachio trees into dormancy. (Editor’s note: the end of the month brought some welcome cold to pistachio growing regions in the San Joaquin Valley. How the remainder of the dormant season plays out is yet to be seen.) Industry Research Industry research has determined a lack of sufficient hours below 45 degrees F affects the nut crop that develops in the spring. There can be poor fruit bud development, delayed or strung out bloom and poor overlap with pollinators. The ability to set a crop can be affected as well as maturity timing resulting in need...

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BeeWhere: California’s Hive Location Program


There’s no disputing the value bees hold in food production. This is why California has launched BeeWhere, an online tool to help improve communication among growers, pesticide applicators, beekeepers, and other agricultural personnel in order to safeguard hives that are out in the field. “[We] hope BeeWhere will accomplish the notification of all beekeepers when a product will be sprayed in the environment that could be potentially detrimental to the honey bees,” says Karine Pouliquen, M.A., Head Beekeeper under the Orange County Master Gardener Program located at the University of California South Coast Research and Extension Center. That’s exactly what the program is setting out to do. What Is It? BeeWhere is an online method of tracking the locations of hives across California that uses real-time GIS mapping. At any given time, a county can know how many registered hives are within its boundaries. It also allows for pesticide applicators...

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Winter Prep for Pistachios


Almonds and walnuts may be California’s heavy hitters in the tree nut market, but pistachios also hold a valuable place, even if this crop experiences less of the spotlight, and has less research that finely tunes the growing processes. “There’s no step-by-step guide because everyone does different things,” says Craig Kallsen, University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) farm advisor specializing in citrus and pistachios. Even though there aren’t any hard and fast rules about pistachio orchard best practices, there are a few things growers can do to ensure their orchard remains healthy during the winter months. Slowing Growth A significant step in the preparation for winter for pistachios begins in August when the water gets turned off. This is especially important for young trees under six years, and in areas where there is not a significant transition from summer to winter, as these trees suffer from juvenile winter...

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UC Davis 2020 Short Course: Principles of Fruit and Nut Tree Growth, Cropping, and Management


Farming is often a multigenerational legacy, but what about those who are just starting out and are brand new to the farming game? University of California (UC), Davis has you covered. From March 23-April 2, 2020, UC Davis will be hosting a short course focusing on the tree growing basics in an agricultural business setting. Who Should Attend The course is open to anyone interested in learning how to grow and care for a related orchard, along with various aspects it entails. “It’s designed to give a thorough introduction to people who are brand new to farming,” says Kevin Taniguchi, manager of the Fruit and Nut Research and Information Center at UC Davis, “whether they’ve just bought a small plot, are taking over a farm, transitioning from field crops to tree crops, or are considering work as a farm manager.” The course typically sells out every year and hosts many...

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Post-Harvest Prep for Walnuts: Weeds, Nutrients, and Bot


Harvest takes a toll on orchards, and as the hustle and bustle of walnut harvest comes to a close, trees need time to rest, recover, and refuel. Growing operations may be headed into a slower time of year, but post-harvest actions taken to prepare the tree for—or nourish the tree during winter—help ensure its health and productivity come spring. Less active months are good times to check equipment and revisit the effectiveness of the previous season’s protocols, while also considering the winter management of weeds, nutrients, and diseases or infections. Weed Control Luckily for walnut growers who have mature trees, many weed populations can’t emerge simply because the canopy shades out the sunlight. But, weeds still make an appearance in the winter. As the end of harvest approaches, growers do a postharvest irrigation, which causes flushes of weeds to sprout up. By the end of November, most growers have begun...

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