Soils Archives - West Coast Nut



Considering Soil Fertility for Tree Crops

Wherever trees are being grown, no matter what kind they may be, there are specific considerations that can make great differences in terms of growth and production. The first consideration about fertility for aptly growing trees of any type should be that you can correctly manage only those needs you can correctly measure. Needed measurements for growing trees can involve several different aspects for the best growth and production, including climate and other environmental factors as well as fertility to help determine growth and yield potential. Trees will all grow the best in an ideal environment. That will vary depending...

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Soil Health: Deriving Benefits from the Ground Up

The concept of “healthy soil” has become increasingly popular over the last decade as researchers, government agencies, organizations like the Almond Board, and farmers continue learning more about the essential role soil plays in crop productivity, air and water quality, climate regulation and human health. Benefits of Healthy Soils Soils are complex and living ecosystems capable of supporting a wide range of functions through the activities of soil organisms (Figure 1). Among other benefits, a well-functioning soil ecosystem can: Promote the retention and availability of crop nutrients, Build soil structure to reduce topsoil loss, Alleviate compaction, Improve infiltration and...

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Manipulating Soil Salt Content

Harvest winds down and many of us love to celebrate with an ice-cold beer. If that beer is at a favorite watering hole, you’ll likely reach for a few peanuts, pretzels or bar mix in the bowl in front of you. Have another handful of snacks, and you’re certainly going to need another frosty long neck. Ever wonder why they give you that free salty snack on the bar? It makes you thirsty. As a former starving college student who got wrapped up for a time in the restaurant business, I thought, “That was a pretty cool trick. Make your...

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Gemperle Farms Uses Regenerative Practices to Improve Soil Health

American Farmland Trust (AFT) recently released a Soil Health Farmer Profile of Rich Gemperle, who successfully adopted regenerative farming practices to improve soil health on his orchard. His family grows almonds and owns a large-scale egg business in Stanislaus County. The farmer profile describes the changes Gemperle made to his 67-acre orchard, originally planted in 2008. Gemperle had been applying compost annually, but in 2016, he started planting cover crops and practicing nutrient management. He reports improved soil tilth, water infiltration and increased organic matter content since adopting the practices. The grower also experienced gains in net income through reduced...

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Pressure Rises on Popular Soil Fumigant

It has become a theme in California, where pesticides are under an unprecedented attack from every possible side. From Proposition 65 requirements; to possible new notification requirements and buffer zones; to an increase in the tax on all pesticides, this administration has made it abundantly clear they intend to change the landscape in California. And if they have it their way, the future will not include pesticides. Governor Newsom has even been quoted as describing the situation as a “harmful overuse of pesticides in this state”. Well, no chemical is feeling this pressure more than 1,3-Dichloropropene (1,3-D), more commonly known...

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