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Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Emerging as Significant Pest in Almonds


The good news for California tree nut producers is the brown marmorated stink bug is not widespread in commercial production areas. The bad news is, where it has shown up, crop damage can be severe. In one instance, in responding to a call from a grower in Stanislaus County, UCCE Farm Advisor Jhalendra Rijal said he was shocked to see the damage. “It looked like somebody came through with a shaker and shook these trees on the borders,” Rijal said. “All these almonds were on the ground like a blanket.” Later on, at harvest, Rijal said the orchard suffered losses...

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‘Moonshot’ Effort Needed to Build Future Agricultural Water Supply


After decades of over-pumping groundwater, California faces declining aquifers and stark choices – a future so challenging that a collective “moonshot” effort is needed to preserve irrigation supplies and viable agriculture in many parts of the state. That message was the theme among experts participating in a panel at The Almond Conference 2019 focused on the state’s landmark 2014 Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, or SGMA. SGMA requires many areas to balance supply and demand for groundwater, leaving local regions scrambling to develop plans to ration pumping while figuring out how to return more water to aquifers during times of plentiful...

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What’s New in Pollination


Ensuring pollinator health is an important part of the almond industry’s future. Josette Lewis, Almond Board of California’s director of Agricultural Affairs, drove home that point in a panel discussion on innovations in pollination at The Almond Conference. Almond productivity starts with healthy bees and bee health impacts consumer perception of the sustainability of almond production. New ways to improve bee health and the importance of communication between all stakeholders during bloom were discussed by panelists. Public perception of pollinator health was shown in a survey where comments included:”We have to have bees, we need them to get our food.”...

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Hull Rot and Ganoderma Root Rot in Almonds


Hull Rot is an infection in almonds caused by one of several pathogens. The infection not only causes quality and yield problems with the current crop, but it can impact the following season’s production. Current Research Current research findings, water and nitrogen management recommendations and chemical control options were reviewed by Mohammad Yaghmour, Kern County University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) advisor at the Almond Conference. In addition to Yaghmour’s hull rot research, current information on the wood decaying fungi Ganoderma that affects almond tree health was provided by University of California (UC) Davis researcher David Rizzo and Bob Johnson,...

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Whole Orchard Cover Crops


Cover crops and chips from orchard removal are proving to be opportunities to enhance orchard health rather than management challenges. Ame’lie Gaudin, assistant professor Agroecology in the Plant Science Department at University of California Davis, and Brent Holtz, University of California farm advisor in San Joaquin County presented updated research on cover crop use and orchard recycling at The Almond Conference. Almond grower Christine Gemperle shared her experiences with whole orchard recycling. Gaudin said that orchard floors and alleyways are underutilized and present opportunities for improving production and meeting sustainability targets. Post harvest and continuing through the dormant season is...

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