Newsletter Archives - West Coast Nut

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Proactive Maintenance is Key to Success with Buried Drip Irrigation Systems


When it comes to irrigating tree nuts with subsurface irrigation, you have to have the mindset to make it work, and it has to be maintained, said Silas Rossow, president of Cal Ag Solutions in Merced. “Being proactive, flushing regularly, will add years to the life of the system,” Rossow said. Subsurface drip systems deliver a low-pressure water source in orchards and field crops with buried drip tape or hard tubing with built-in emitters. Subsurface drip is a good tool and can save water, but it is not an easy solution to irrigation efficiency, Rossow said. “You have to change...

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Pistachio Nutrition with Limited Water


Following pistachio nutrient uptake patterns will help to meet the tree’s needs without over-supplying. UCCE Pomology and Soil/Water Advisor Douglas Amaral, at the Advances in Pistachio Water Management Workshop, said growers need to use the experience of the potential for a particular orchard and then consider the prevalent environmental conditions when choosing the right rate for nutrient application. “The right rate requires setting a realistic yield goal,” Amaral said. Previous year’s yield, drought, winter chilling and spring flowering weather can be critical in making decisions, he said. Trees should be evaluated in April and after fruit set. Estimates are fine,...

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Leaks Contribute to Irrigation Inefficiency


A single bad gasket in a filter, releasing just a drop at a time, can waste thousands of gallons of water over an irrigation season. Tom Devol, senior manager for field outreach and education for Almond Board of California, said those small leaks are often overlooked but can play a big role in water use efficiency. Gains in irrigation efficiency are offset when leaks in the system are not addressed. Maintenance of the systems is key, Devol said. Tehama County Resource Conservation District’s Mobile Irrigation Lab manager Kevin Greer notes that punctures in irrigation hoses caused by vertebrate pests tend...

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Ethephon Decisions Depend on Goals


Decisions on use of Ethephon to advance maturity in your walnut crop depend on your goals. This plant growth regulator product is applied at walnut maturity or soon after to accelerate hull cracking and separation and increase lighter color kernels. It can also tighten harvest readiness to avoid second shakes. Robert Beede, UCCE farm advisor emeritus, and UCCE farm advisor Janine Hasey wrote in the UCCE publication Sacramento Valley Orchards that depending on the season and the variety, harvest can be four to seven days earlier with use of Ethephon. If the goal is to avoid a second shake and...

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Deliver Soluble Post-Harvest Nutrition in Pistachios


Replenish and rehydrate are key parts of a postharvest nutrition strategy in pistachio production. Rich Kreps, crop advisor with Ultra Gro, said any strategy for getting nutrition into trees postharvest will be made much more difficult to implement if trees are not hydrated or if they have received a huge slug of water and anerobic conditions persist. He also emphasized that postharvest nutrition is best done very soon after harvest (like as the last bin is leaving the orchard.) “The trees need immediate soluble nutrition right after harvest. The longer after harvest you wait, there is less opportunity to get...

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