Irrigation Archives - Page 3 of 10 - West Coast Nut



Irrigation Management Considerations for Summer

The health experts recommend 6 to 10 cups of water per day for the average human depending on your activity level. Wouldn’t it be great if you could get up in the morning, decide how much work you were going to do that day and, after careful calculations, suck down that much water at breakfast and be good for the day? It doesn’t work that way. We need water throughout the day. Unfortunately, due to logistics and timeframes, that’s how we irrigate our crops. Load them up for a day or two and then let them fend for themselves for...

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What We Learned from the Last Drought and What We Can Do to Mitigate Future Water Shortages

California is once again heading into a dry year with memories of the last drought all too fresh. During the 2015 drought, more than 540,000 acres of California farmland were idled at an economic cost of $2.7 billion. This year, California farmers have already seen their water supply cut as much as 95%. Some farmers are anticipating it will be cut to zero. And, as difficult as this year is, farmers are also keeping an eye on the future. Even though California agriculture has cut its water use by double-digits since 1980, we’re not done yet. The passage of SGMA...

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Early Season Water Management in Walnut

When should growers start irrigating? “Short answer: wait for the tree to tell you when it needs water,” according to Ken Shackel, professor of irrigation in the UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences. There’s also the questions of how much to irrigate and how to know that it’s working.   Measuring Stem Water Potential One of the best ways to know when to irrigate in walnut orchards and other crops is to take a tree’s stem water potential (SWP) through the use of a pressure chamber, according to Kari Arnold, UCCE farm advisor in Stanislaus County. In a 2021 Virtual...

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Smart Irrigation Technology Can Help with Water Management Decisions

Almond growers determined to get ‘more crop per drop’ heard some new takes on smart irrigation technology at the virtual Almond Conference from a panel of researchers and scientists. “Smart irrigation management will consist of a combination of hardware and software that will allow almond growers to make precision irrigation decisions,” said Sebastian Saa, associate director of Agricultural Research for the Almond Board of California and moderator of the conference session. Panelists included Ken Shackel, UC Davis; Andrew McElrone, USDA research scientist based at UC Davis; Forrest Melton, NASA Ames and CSU Monterey Bay; and UC Davis researcher Isaya Kisekka.  ...

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Delaying Irrigation Offers Benefits in Walnuts and Almonds

Six years of UC research has shown that walnut growers may be able to delay starting irrigation by up to two months without significantly affecting yield. And one year of research into delaying irrigation in almonds is showing similarly positive results. The research could have profound effects on water usage, pumping costs and plant health, according to researchers. The results in walnuts were surprising, UC Davis Plant Sciences Department Professor Ken Shackel said, in part because of the belief that walnut trees rely on stored soil moisture to avoid defoliation and other negative occurrences at harvest. Researchers, however, found no...

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