Cover Crop Archives - West Coast Nut


Cover Crop

Cover Crop Research and Resource Offer Important Considerations for the Practice

Researchers and growers at Davis Ranches recently wrapped up a three-year grant-funded trial in conjunction with UC Davis examining the positives and negatives of 31 available cover crops species. While the cover crops were grown in field rows instead of orchards, many of the principles and knowledge gained from the project are universal and applicable to orchard settings. The study provided valuable perspectives for the purpose of cover crops and their management, such as the fact that cover crops are not cash crops like the specialty crops they grow next to. They can help save money, but they don’t make...

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Getting Started with Cover Crops in Almond Systems

Almond orchard middles are first and foremost considered working surfaces in the orchard. It’s obvious from the language we use to talk about them: the orchard floor, the drive row, etc. But years of keeping middles free of any vegetation can lead to the development of problems in orchard soils, and sacrifices the many benefits that can be gained by having winter vegetation in orchard alleyways. Winter cover crops hold promise to help growers address multiple production challenges associated with poor soil health and uncertainties in water resources while fostering bee health and sustainability. Despite its potential, this practice is...

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Collaborative Bee+ Scholarship Supports Growers Who Plant Pollinator Cover Crops

This past June, the Almond Board of California (ABC) launched its Bee+ Scholarship for almond growers. This scholarship supports growers seeking to plant cover crops in and/or around their orchards, an effort that is not only shown to promote pollinator health but which also provides multiple in-orchard benefits, as well.   Support for Growers There are two key elements of the scholarship. The first is that ABC will cover the cost for growers to register for Pollinator Partnership’s Bee Friendly Farming (BFF)1 program, which was recently aligned with ABC’s California Almond Sustainability Program (CASP).2 The CASP and BFF program alignment...

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Cover Crops Catching on in Hazelnuts

With its clay soils and hilly terrain, Ioka Farms didn’t think it had much choice but to plant a permanent cover crop in its hazelnut orchards. “We had to have it, because we have this sticky red soil up here in the hills, and if you happen to have a wet year, it is really difficult to pick hazelnuts,” said Doug Duerst, an executive with the Silverton, Ore., farm. “And if we worked everything up and leveled it out, our topsoil would just erode right down to the rocks.”

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