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Almonds



Healthy Soil Practices Bring Economic and Environmental Benefits to Almond Growers


If almond growers are wondering about the economic and environmental benefits of healthy soils farming practices, new evidence shows investment in healthy soil practices has definitely been worthwhile for two almond farms in California’s San Joaquin Valley.  American Farmland Trust (AFT) released eight “Accelerating Soil Health” case studies recently, which document the benefits of soil health growing practices on farm incomes and the environment.  For almond production, healthy soils practices include cover cropping, nutrient management (leaf sampling, fertigation and targeted fertilizer applications), mulching the prunings, and compost application. The participating growers for the two California case studies were Ralf Sauter...

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Self-Fertile Almonds Gain in Popularity


Self-fertile almond varieties that don’t require a pollinizer, need fewer or even no beehives to set a crop and allow one-pass harvests are gaining market share as growers look to maximize profit per acre. Although there will still be a place for varieties, such as Nonpareil, that have unique kernel characteristics but require a pollinizer, industry leaders say self-fertile varieties are here to stay. Independence, a self-fertile variety developed by Zaiger Genetics and licensed to Hickman-based Dave Wilson Nursery, entered the market about 15 years ago. Since then, acreage has continued to increase and now accounts for about 2 percent...

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Resurgence of Perennial Phytophthora Canker Disease of Almonds


Many species of Phytophthora continue to cause serious losses in California almond orchards. Collectively, these pathogens affect almond trees of all ages, causing decline and death in young orchards in their first few years of development as well as in bearing and fully mature orchards in their prime. We tend to name diseases caused by Phytophthora with reference to the tree parts most obviously affected, for example, Phytophthora species cause “root rot,” “crown rot,” “trunk and scaffold cankers,” and “pruning wound cankers.” At least 10 different species of Phytophthora are known to infect almonds, varying in tree parts they attack...

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A Day in the Life of a Grower, Handler


This February, the Almond Board of California (ABC) hosted more than 20 influential supply chain stakeholders at its first-ever Almond Sustainability Tour. These stakeholders represent food companies from across the globe, including General Mills, Campbell Soup Company, Coca Cola and Seeberger, and hold various roles within their company’s sustainability programs, from leaders of entire sustainability programs to directors of supply chain and sourcing to heads of global procurement. Led by ABC’s Trade Stewardship and Sustainability teams, the tour was aimed at providing key decision makers in the supply chain with a first-hand look at the California almond industry’s responsible growing...

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The Ins and Outs of Tissue Testing


As this year’s spectacular bloom is now replaced with delicate green leaves, it’s time to start the foliar testing process.  Of course, the UC has created and implemented the Early Sampling Protocol (UCD-ESP) to better assess our nitrogen needs long before we notice a real problem. Last year we witnessed a crazy March filled with turbulent storms charged with an abundance of lightning strikes.  The atmospheric nitrogen that was transformed through those charges may have been a great contributor to higher than normal nitrogen numbers many of my growers experienced.  The good news is, much of it went into the...

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