Nut Crops | West Coast Nut


Nut Crops

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Trees don’t go out and buy pumpkin spice lattes when temperatures drop, but nut trees have another way of responding to cooler fall temperatures. Trees signal the visual start of their winter dormant period, dormancy, by dropping leaves as temperatures and sunlight hours decrease. During dormancy, growth is suspended even if growing conditions are ideal. Dormancy ends when growth resumes in the spring, but what happens during the ‘dormant season’ can have an effect on tree productivity. Although leafless during dormancy, deciduous trees are still functioning internally, sustained by carbohydrate reserves. Without leaves and green shoots, they are less vulnerable...

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The Practical Wisdom of Climate-Smart Agriculture Practices

“Climate-smart agriculture.” While not common parlance under the tree canopy yet, many growers are increasingly adopting practices recognized as climate-smart because they make sense for improving soil quality or efficiency. Plus, there are more economic incentives to implement them today than ever before. So, what is climate-smart agriculture? Basically, it’s any management practice that reduces greenhouse gas emissions or keeps them out of the atmosphere, also known as sequestration. This includes practices that use water and nitrogen efficiently, improvements to energy efficiency, and using renewable fuel or contributing to biofuels with co-products. However, most of the excitement is around sequestering...

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Enhancing Winter Chill in Tree Nut Crops

Hopefully this November we get rain in the valley, rain in the mountains and the temps turn cold. Our trees need it. Heck, our state needs it. If we don’t at least get our normal rainfall rates, we may be headed for a statewide disaster with all the water our government “officials” have released this year. No matter how brilliant we may think we are when creating nutrition plans for our growers to optimize our yields and orchard’s health, Mother Nature is still the most important part of our farming repertoire. Pardon my French… without water and adequate rest, we...

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Prevent Water Stress in the Central Valley and Set Trees Up for Bearing Next Year’s Crop

This year, long-range weather forecasts from the National Weather Service call for above-normal temperatures for the southern half of the state and cooler temperatures to the north. As for rainfall, much of the Central Valley looks to have less than a 50% chance of precipitation in November. If this dry forecast proves to be correct, what steps can growers and farm managers take to prevent water stress and set their trees up for bearing next year’s crop? Keep Up with ET “They have to continue to stay in farming mode, keep up with irrigation to meet evapotranspiration demands,” said UCCE...

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Tree Nut Handlers Deal with High Energy Prices

California nut processors are facing soaring energy rates with no relief in sight. Costs for electricity to operate machinery and light buildings, natural gas or propane for drying nuts and fuel to operate vehicles are assuming a larger share of their operating expenses. Michael Boccadoro with the Ag Energy Consumers Association told Western Agricultural Processors Association (WAPA) members and guests at the association’s annual meeting what many already knew: commercial and industrial energy rates are twice the national average and rising faster than the national inflation rate. He predicted the trend would continue. Between 2011 and 2017, Boccadoro said, electricity...

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