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The Future of Off-Ground Harvest


The journey toward off-ground almond harvest has begun. A panel of growers, industry leaders and researchers led a discussion of this momentous move at the 2019 Almond Conference. Reducing Dust One of the main drivers of this journey is the reduction of dust at harvest. “The 2025 goal of reducing dust by 50 percent can’t be reached without off-ground harvest,” Patrick Brown, University of California (UC) Davis plant sciences researcher, told the audience. Most California harvest equipment manufacturers are participating in the journey toward off-ground harvest, collaborating with researchers and participating in field trials, session moderator Brian Wahlbrink of Sperry...

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A New Approach to IPM


There is a new approach to integrated pest management said Dr. Surendra K. Dara, University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) entomology and biological advisor and speaker at the inaugural Crop Consultant Conference. The Journal of Integrated Pest Management published Dara’s work on The New IPM Paradigm for the Modern Age earlier this year. In his paper, Dara writes that the concept of IPM is not new and has historically been based on ecological and economic aspects of pest management. The new model, Dara said, is expanded to include management, business, and sustainability while emphasizing the importance of research and public...

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Temperature Controlled Bee Storage


Avoiding losses due to varroa mites, lack of adequate fall forage and high overwintering feeding/labor costs are all reasons California beekeepers have for considering storing their colonies indoors during the winter.   Temperature-controlled In temperature-controlled storage, bees are less active and go into a hibernation mode. This extends the life of the bees and causes a break in reproduction as the queen does not lay eggs. Bees normally live 40-50 days, but inside, their life span can be extended to 150 days, as they are not burning themselves out feeding their young. The break in reproduction can also break the...

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Advanced Harvest Almonds


Alternative Harvesting Practices Josette Lewis, the Almond Board of California’s (ABC) new Director of Agricultural Affairs predicted exploring alternative harvesting options will be a journey for almond growers as they make decisions and evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of what would be a major change for the industry. The topic of advanced harvest is so intriguing that it is one of the opening topics at The Almond Conference 2019 in December. (more…)

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Whole Orchard Recycling, a Grower’s Perspective


Christine Gemperle farms 135 acres of almonds in Stanislaus and Merced counties with her brother Erich. In November 2018, the pair pulled out 20 acres of old trees and decided to try Whole Orchard Recycling (WOR) for the first time on that same 20-acre block. Christine lives on the land that underwent WOR and had a front row seat to the whole process. WOR involves grinding trees into small chips then spreading that material across the field and disking it about six inches into the soil. For many growers uncertain of what to do with their old trees, WOR provides...

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