Almonds Archives - West Coast Nut

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Almonds



5 Topics to Discuss with Your Beekeeper Before Bloom


In the midst of dormancy and with winter sanitation in full swing, growers are looking ahead to next year and strategizing how to best produce a healthy, bountiful crop. Their strategy should include removing mummy nuts from the orchard and irrigating trees that became water stressed during harvest, two practices that will not only generate greater yields but also increase the long-term health of an orchard. In addition to mummy shaking and irrigating, however, growers need to look even further down the road to ensure they’re prepared for what’s arguably the second-busiest time of year—almond pollination. As a grower, being organized before bloom sets you up for success—and less stress—during pollination. It also ensures that honey bee health is maintained to the upmost throughout growers’ coordination with beekeepers,...

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Understanding Almond Disease Vectors and Recognizing Disease Symptoms


Understanding disease vectors and recognizing disease symptoms can allow for timely management decisions in almond production. Mohammad Yaghmour, University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) orchard systems advisor for Kern and Kings counties, explained differences and similarities among vector-transmitted bacterial and viral disease of almond trees and how the diseases are transmitted at the South Valley Nut and Citrus Conference. A typical disease triangle includes host, pathogen and environment, Yaghmour said, but vectors can also play a part in spread of disease. Almond Leaf Scorch The bacterial disease Almond Leaf Scorch (ALS) is vectored by insects and can become a chronic problem in almond orchards, reducing yields and eventually causing tree decline and death. Yaghmour said the symptoms of ALS might not even be noticeable for several years after infection. Symptoms of this disease can be spotted in early June. Later in the growing season and close to harvest time, symptoms...

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2020 Almond Pollination Market: Economic Outlook and Other Considerations


The following article summarizes my outlook for the 2020 almond pollination season in terms of estimated demand for colonies, pollination fees, and other information I believe almond growers will find useful. Where possible, information is based on research and data, however some of the outlook comes from my best educated guess given the information available. In 2020, approximately 1.2 million bearing acres of almonds will require roughly 2.4 million colonies for pollination services. 2019 Almond Pollination Market According to the 2019 California Almond Objective Measurement Report, there were 1.17 million bearing acres of almonds in 2019. This brought in roughly 1.86 million colonies into California. This was down from shipments in 2018, which were 1.93 million. Abnormally wet and cold weather in the Central Valley made pollination services challenging in 2019. Nut set per tree was down 18 percent from 2018, and total yield in pounds per acre is projected...

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Does Late Winter Shaking Reduce Yield Potential in Almonds?


Last year I conducted a research trial in almonds to address a recurring question posed by many growers. Does late shaking of almonds for winter sanitation of mummy nuts reduce the yield potential due to the removal of many of the swelling buds? The 2018 replicated trial in two different orchards indicated it did not. This trial was repeated at two additional sites in 2019 to see if the results could be duplicated. Winter Shaking Winter shaking of overwintering mummy nuts is the single most important cultural activity an almond grower can do to reduce surviving populations of navel orangeworm (NOW). By eliminating these nuts, the larvae and pupae in them are destroyed. These nuts also would have served as a food source for the first and second generation of NOW during the upcoming growing season. While there are many reasons...

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Advanced Harvest Almonds


Alternative Harvesting Practices

Josette Lewis, the Almond Board of California’s (ABC) new Director of Agricultural Affairs predicted exploring alternative harvesting options will be a journey for almond growers as they make decisions and evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of what would be a major change for the industry. The topic of advanced harvest is so intriguing that it is one of the opening topics at The Almond Conference 2019 in December. While other almond-producing countries have adopted some alternative harvest practices, including over the top harvest, in recent years, nearly all of the California crop, that makes up 80 percent of the world’s almond production, is harvested by first mechanically shaking, then windrowing the nuts and finally scooping them up with a pickup machine. New technology in harvest equipment and new harvest strategies have been successful in reducing the amount of dust generated during harvest operations,...

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