Almonds Archives - West Coast Nut

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Almonds



Almond Variety Trial Continues


A new round of statewide almond variety trials were started in 2014. There are three trials, one in Chico, Salida and Chowchilla. Each trial used rootstocks that were common to the area. In Butte County, the trees are on the Krymsk® 86 rootstock. In Salida, Nemaguard rootstock was used because that area has problems with root knot nematode. In Chowchilla, Hansen peach/almond hybrid was used because it is more tolerant to drought and salinity. Almond Research Trial Joe Connell, University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) farm advisor emeritus in Butte County, helped establish the almond variety trial at California State University (CSU) farm in Chico, California. “The main purpose is to observe varieties in semi-commercial conditions that breeders thought, might have promise,” Connell said. This could also be identifying varieties that have a fatal flaw like problems with shaking, excessive disease problems, or poor yields. Consistently poor producers might be...

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Almond Trees

Increasing Yields and Reducing Inputs


In farming, we are always striving to produce two outcomes: Increasing yields while reducing input costs. Of course, that’s much easier said than done. A couple years ago, after presenting a budget to a farmer, I received a common response: “Rich, It’s not always what you make, but what you save that matters…” Well, that only makes sense if you have already maximized your production. Let’s dive a little deeper into that math. Increasing Yields Let’s say a farmer makes a 2000 pound almond crop. At an arbitrary price of $250 per pound our gross yield is $5000 per acre. That’s simple math. Now let’s look at two different scenarios:  Farmer Bill spent $1000 per acre to get that yield. Farmer Bob spent $1200 per acre to produce his nuts. Both farmed about the same with their inputs and timing. Obviously, Farmer Bill made $200 per acre more profit. What...

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Honey bees, Small but Impactful


The honey bee may be small in size, but the impact it has on agriculture is enormous. It has been reported the value of the European honey bee, Apis mellifera L., to pollination services is estimated to be more than $217 billion globally and $20 billion in the United States annually. In California alone, about one-third of agricultural revenue comes from pollinator-dependent crops. In the world of nut crops, the honey bee is as important to the crop as the crop is to the bee. And no nut crop needs them more than California almonds. And likewise, no single crop matters more to beekeepers’ bottom lines than the state's almond pollination, which is reported to make up over a third of U.S. beekeeping revenues. The critical role of the honey bee is well researched and documented at the E. L. Niño Bee Lab at University of California (UC Davis). The...

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Harvesting Strategies to Reduce Dust


A clear view to the very end of a row of trees, just a few rows away from operating harvest equipment, showed how seriously California’s almond growers are taking their industry’s efforts to reduce dust. Dust Reduction Goals Purchase of harvest equipment designed to generate less dust, harvest strategies to reduce dust and grower efforts to minimize dust in sensitive areas are all attempts by almond growers to meet 2025 dust reduction goals sought by Almond Board of California (ABC). The goal, set in 2018, is to reduce total harvest dust by 50 percent. Air quality, particularly during late summer, can be negatively impacted by dust generated during almond harvest. Sweepers and pick up machines operating in orchards can create significant amounts of dust and contribute to high levels of particulate matter in the air. To address this issue, Almond Board of California has funded research over the last ten...

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Want to Thrive Postharvest? Make a Plan


For an almond grower, practicing postharvest irrigation and providing proper nutrients to the trees after the busiest season of the year is a way to “pay it forward” for next year’s crop. By the end of September, flower formation inside the buds is coming to an end and next year’s crop yield potential is set. The principle is simple: greater flower development in the current season may result in greater return the following season. Taking care of those recently developed buds with good water and nutrient management will maximize next year’s fruit-set. Like many things in life, preparation is key, and preparing your trees for the upcoming crop year requires that you make a plan to make it happen. Creating an irrigation and nutrient management checklist, for example, can help you ensure you’re taking the proper steps prepare your trees for life after dormancy. Step 1: Reference the Almond Irrigation Improvement Continuum In the...

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