Almonds Archives - West Coast Nut

Almonds



Irrigation by Variety in Almond Orchards


    As farmers face increasing pressure to use water wisely due to environmental and policy changes in California, the importance of developing site-specific irrigation practices has never been more important. Site Specific Irrigation Site-specific irrigation management can account for heterogeneous soils, variable topography, diverse tree varieties and ages, changing environmental conditions, and more. In almond orchards, which typically have two or three varieties to improve cross-pollination, diverse tree varieties offer a potential application of site-specific irrigation management. My major advisor, Dr. Isaya Kisekka, and I have begun an experiment to investigate the potential of irrigation by variety as a form of site-specific irrigation. Could farmers improve quality, yield and/or crop per drop by independently irrigating tree varieties? The motivation to study irrigation by variety comes from the growth patterns of almond trees. Different almond varieties experience critical growth stages, such...

Read More

Almond ready to be processed

Another Record Breaking Almond Crop Predicted for 2019


The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)/National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) releases two almond reports every year. The first is the subject report based on opinions from randomly selected California almond growers throughout the state by a phone survey conducted in April and May. NASS’s objective report provides a more precise estimate on yield based on actual almond counts and measurements gathered from over 850 orchards statewide that includes the weight, size and grade of the average almond sample broken down by growing district and variety. The 2019 subjective report was released in May, and for the second year in a row it is predicting a record breaking almond crop. According to the NASS, California almond orchards are expected to produce 2.50 billion pounds of nuts this year, an increase of 8.69 percent over the 2018 2.30 billion-pound crop. NASS’s objective report will be released on July 3, 2019.  ...

Read More

An IPM Approach to Vertebrate Pests

By Cecilia Parsons | Associate Editor

They don’t look that destructive in Disney movies, but vertebrate pests in almond orchards can drive growers and managers nuts. Vertebrate pests run the gamut from coyotes to ground squirrels, to voles and even roof rats. Depending on the species, they can cause yield losses by feeding on nuts, pose food safety issues in the orchard, and damage irrigation lines. Their burrows can slow harvest, damage equipment and pose safety hazards for workers and livestock. Some vertebrate species can also transmit diseases to humans. Vertebrate Pest Pressure Roger Baldwin, a University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) specialist in the Department of Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology at UC Davis, said vertebrate pest pressure may depend on the growing region or local environmental conditions, but in general, ground squirrels are the primary culprits in orchards. Roof rats feeding in almond orchards are a recent issue in some areas. Orchards near...

Read More

Navel Orangeworm NOW

Expanding your NOW Toolbox

By Kathy Coatney | Editor

Overall the first flight of navel orangeworm (NOW) has been lighter than normal this year. This could be attributed to relatively low 2018 damage levels, especially in pistachios, and the cooler, wetter weather during the 2019 spring. “If we get really warm sustained temperatures early in the spring, navel orangeworm wakes up early and becomes active,” according to David Haviland, University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) entomology farm advisor for Kern County. But this spring was cooler, overcast and wet, so the first flight was more spread out than normal, Haviland said. NOW Damage “Damage last year in almonds was fairly typical, but in pistachios it was extremely low,” Haviland continued. Less damage at harvest means lower infestation rates in mummy nuts that carry over to the next year. “That’s a positive,” Haviland said. A very low year for pistachio damage benefits other nut crops that might be growing next...

Read More

Almonds being loaded for transport

Tips for Almond Harvest

By Cecilia Parsons Associate Editor

Being prepared increases the likelihood of a successful almond harvest.   Pest Control The number one concern for growers approaching harvest should be controlling navel orangeworm (NOW) in their orchards. Mel Machado, director of grower relations for Blue Diamond Growers said timing of spray applications for this pest is critical to control and minimizing nut damage due to NOW. Timing hull split sprays should be at the top of every grower’s harvest preparation checklist, Machado said. “You don’t want to be too late with your hull split sprays, you want to make sure you get good coverage.” Timing and coverage can be challenges for growers. It helps to understand the life cycle of NOW to plan spray applications for when they will be most effective. Hulls split earlier at the tops of the tree canopy than those on the lower third of the canopy. Growers and farm managers are also...

Read More