WCN0120 Archives - West Coast Nut

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2020 Almond Pollination Market: Economic Outlook and Other Considerations

The following article summarizes my outlook for the 2020 almond pollination season in terms of estimated demand for colonies, pollination fees, and other information I believe almond growers will find useful. Where possible, information is based on research and data, however some of the outlook comes from my best educated guess given the information available. In 2020, approximately 1.2 million bearing acres of almonds will require roughly 2.4 million colonies for pollination services. 2019 Almond Pollination Market According to the 2019 California Almond Objective Measurement Report, there were 1.17 million bearing acres of almonds in 2019. This brought in roughly...

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Does Late Winter Shaking Reduce Yield Potential in Almonds?

Last year I conducted a research trial in almonds to address a recurring question posed by many growers. Does late shaking of almonds for winter sanitation of mummy nuts reduce the yield potential due to the removal of many of the swelling buds? The 2018 replicated trial in two different orchards indicated it did not. This trial was repeated at two additional sites in 2019 to see if the results could be duplicated. Winter Shaking Winter shaking of overwintering mummy nuts is the single most important cultural activity an almond grower...

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5 Topics to Discuss with Your Beekeeper Before Bloom

ol ol, ul ul, ol ul, ul ol{margin-left:3em !important;} li{margin-bottom:2em !important;} In the midst of dormancy and with winter sanitation in full swing, growers are looking ahead to next year and strategizing how to best produce a healthy, bountiful crop. Their strategy should include removing mummy nuts from the orchard and irrigating trees that became water stressed during harvest, two practices that will not only generate greater yields but also increase the long-term health of an orchard. In addition to mummy shaking and irrigating, however, growers need to look even further down the road...

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BeeWhere: California’s Hive Location Program

There’s no disputing the value bees hold in food production. This is why California has launched BeeWhere, an online tool to help improve communication among growers, pesticide applicators, beekeepers, and other agricultural personnel in order to safeguard hives that are out in the field. “[We] hope BeeWhere will accomplish the notification of all beekeepers when a product will be sprayed in the environment that could be potentially detrimental to the honey bees,” says Karine Pouliquen, M.A., Head Beekeeper under the Orange County Master Gardener Program located at the University of California South Coast Research and Extension Center. That’s exactly what...

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What We Know About Winter Chill and Pistachios

Eighty-degree days in the month of November did not send California pistachio trees into their winter rest period on schedule. With harvest at an end and irrigations done to fill soil profile, the trees were primed to enter their needed dormant stage, but warm days and barely cold nights are not conducive to sending pistachio trees into dormancy. (Editor’s note: the end of the month brought some welcome cold to pistachio growing regions in the San Joaquin Valley. How the remainder of the dormant season plays out is yet to be seen.) Industry Research Industry research has determined a lack...

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Making the Best Use of Irrigation Management Tools

Decisions about irrigation water management in tree nut crops can make or break a growing season. Effective water management, said University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) Fresno County nut crops advisor Mae Culumber, should support high yield potential and favor desirable nut quality. Effective Water Management In her presentation at the South Valley Nut Conference, Culumber noted that effective water management can extend orchard life, assist in pest management, use water and energy efficiently, contribute to nitrogen management and mitigate salinity problems. Using irrigation management tools can help growers achieve those goals. Irrigation water management is applying water according to...

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SGMA Survival

Facts about the historical groundwater management mandate in the San Joaquin Valley were all part of Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) Survival Toolkit meetings hosted by American Pistachio Growers (APG). Richard Matoian, executive director of American Pistachio Growers said the goals with the workshops are to keep growers informed about SGMA, enactment dates, potential restrictions on pumping, and other important news so they can be better informed as its implementation moves forward. SGMA Educational Workshops SGMA will have an impact, and APG wants growers to understand how they will be affected .This is not the last of these types of...

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Understanding Almond Disease Vectors and Recognizing Disease Symptoms

Understanding disease vectors and recognizing disease symptoms can allow for timely management decisions in almond production. Mohammad Yaghmour, University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) orchard systems advisor for Kern and Kings counties, explained differences and similarities among vector-transmitted bacterial and viral disease of almond trees and how the diseases are transmitted at the South Valley Nut and Citrus Conference. A typical disease triangle includes host, pathogen and environment, Yaghmour said, but vectors can also play a part in spread of disease. Almond Leaf Scorch The bacterial disease Almond Leaf Scorch (ALS) is vectored by insects and can become a chronic...

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Power Outages Impact Growers

Across California, there have been towns, rural communities, and businesses facing power outages. Utility companies stress the importance of these power outages to prevent fires and protect people. This is what Pat Anderson, of Anderson Hulling and Shelling, was told by Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) every time his business had the power turned off. Anderson operates a farming and walnut dryer as well as a walnut processor in Vina, California. Anderson Hulling and Shelling is nestled between irrigated pasture and walnut trees alongside highway 99 just east of Corning. Where the businesses sit, you wouldn’t think forest fires would...

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Tractor Incentive Funding Where are we now?

In 2018, the state began spending greenhouse gas reduction fund (GGRF) money from the Cap and Trade Program on the “Funding Agricultural Replacement Measures for Emission Reductions (FARMER) Program. The FARMER Program was designed to mirror the state’s existing Carl Moyer Program, but expand upon it greatly with considerably more funding. The first three years were provided more than $332 million statewide! Unfortunately, it has been diminishing each year. The first year included $135 million in incentive funds, while FY 2019/2020 only has $65 million. This is especially worrisome for the San Joaquin...

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Winter Leaching

Sitting on a beach at a cousin’s wedding near the equator, seemed an unusual spot to write this months article on winter leaching. There really is no winter and they don’t have to actually purposefully leach bad salts from the ground as Mother Nature handles all of that for them. Unfortunately in the west, we aren’t so lucky. Salts accumulate. Our soils hold much tighter to nutrients and our inadequate water supplies won’t allow us to clean up the bad guys very easily. The flip side is, we have the most amazing soils in the world for fresh produce and...

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Microbials Do They Fit Your Farm?

“It has to fit the way you farm.” Mark Abildgaard, Western Regional manager for the biological crop input provider Agrinos, was speaking about the benefits of using his company’s bio stimulant products, but also noting that not all growers have management systems where the products will work. Abildgaard, a workshop presenter at the South Valley Nut and Citrus Conference, explained that plant growth promoting soil microbes capture and digest the soil nutrient reserves from inorganic and organic fertilizers and release them in a plant usable form, particularly phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). Those microbes also capture and fix nitrogen gas...

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Walnuts and Crown Gall: What It Is and How to Manage

Crown gall—the tumors or galls that can appear on the roots, trunk, and crown of a tree—is nothing if not unsightly, but these abnormal masses that appear on walnut trees stem from a more involved process. Agrobacterium tumefaciens While a nuisance to growers and a hindrance to trees, Agrobacterium tumefaciens— the bacterium responsible for crown gall—has actually made an impact on humankind and medical advancement due to its ability to transform a cell into what the bacterium needs it to be, making it a key player in genetic engineering. But to put it succinctly in regards to orchards, A. tumefaciens...

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Tools for Successfully Wrapping Up the Season

As another season comes to a close, the relief that comes with bringing the busiest time of year to an end is palatable. It is also tempting to rush to the much-needed downtime and understandably so! There is, however, an opportunity to ensure compliance finishing touches happen and that you pause, reflect and make note of how next year can be improved. There are a variety of tools to leverage and assist you in successfully wrapping up the season. End of Employment Winding down the season also means terminating employment of seasonal workers. There are important steps to remember to...

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