Irrigation Archives - Page 2 of 2 - West Coast Nut


Walnuts: When to Begin the Irrigation Season

Walnuts: When to Begin the Irrigation Season

By Allan Fulton, UCCE Farm Advisor, Tehama County
and Bruce LampinenIntegrated Orchard Management, Davis, CA
and en Shackel, UC Professor Department of Plant Sciences, Davis, CA

Overly aggressive, early irrigation can saturate soils and deprive roots of necessary oxygen to grow. Soil fungal pathogens such as Phytophthora thrive in saturated soils and can infect tree roots. The result is declining tree health, productivity, and higher incidence of tree death.  Figure 1 displays an assortment of disorders that have been observed and associated with extended periods of overly wet soil conditions, particularly in the spring (April, May, and early June).  When orchard water stress is monitored with a pressure chamber and midday stem water potential (SWP) levels are steadily near or above predicted baseline levels for fully irrigated conditions, these types of disorders are more likely to occur. (more…)

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The State Water Board’s Plan to Take Our Water

State Water Board’s Plan to Take Our Water

By Roger Isom, President/CEO, WAPA

The loss of water has been an ongoing battle in California for years.  While Mother Nature takes her turn every now and then, nothing has impacted this state’s available water supply more than actions by the state and federal governments in taking water for “ecological, biological or environmental purposes”; in most cases as a priority above any municipal or agricultural use.   For example, the imposition of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act (CVPIA) and the Endangered Species Act (ESA) related biological opinions (BiOps) for the salmon and delta smelt resulted in a loss of over 1 million acre-feet of water south of the delta.  This in turn led to hundreds of thousands of acres of valuable and incredibly productive agricultural land in the western and southern portion of the valley being permanently fallowed.   Now, the state is proposing significant impacts to northeast side of the San Joaquin Valley where they...

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Groundwater Recharge

Groundwater Recharge In Almonds

By Cecilia Parsons, Associate Editor

With California’s drought in mind, more researchers are delving into plant water use, specifically, plant responses to limited water during the growing season.   University of California plant scientist Ken Shackel, a speaker at the 2016 South Valley Nut Conference, has been working on a project that addresses the opposite situation: how a plant responds to too much water. Shackel’s research project in the northern San Joaquin Valley is looking less at plant water use and more on how almond trees react over time to wintertime flooding of an orchard.  The findings from this multiple year study could pave the way for use of almond orchards in groundwater recharge programs.   The opportunity to bank groundwater and recharge declining groundwater levels carries issues with tree and root health as well as economic, environmental and political issues. Those all have to be addressed before moving forward the program, Shackel said.  ...

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