WCN0720 Archives - West Coast Nut

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Reducing Dust at Almond Harvest

Mallvinder Kahal, operations manager for Kahal Farms in Madera, Calif., said reducing dust at harvest has saved money on labor, decreased wear-and-tear on machinery and reduced harvest passes. (more…)

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Variable Rate Irrigation Pays Off in Water Use Efficiency for New Almond Orchards

It is rare that an almond orchard or a site to be planted to almonds will have just one type of soil. “There will be sand streaks or clay streaks in every site. It is rare to find just one soil zone in a block,” said Bill Loflin, president of Hydratec, a division of Laurel Ag and Water. “Go to Google Earth and look, you can see the sand streaks.” (more…)

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Revisiting Drip Irrigation for New Mexico Pecans

Pecan production in southern New Mexico is growing. Every year, additional acres of new trees can be spotted around Doña Ana County. According to the USDA, New Mexico produces approximately 35% of the total U.S. pecan production, and roughly 70% of that comes from Doña Ana. No other single county in the U.S. produces more pecans. (more…)

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Deer, Rabbits, and Coyotes, Oh My!

Wildlife species are well known for causing damage in nut orchards. Burrowing rodents such as ground squirrels, pocket gophers, and voles are the bane of many growers given the extensive damage they cause to trees, nuts, and irrigation infrastructure. Many bird species directly damage nut crops, and some can damage irrigation systems as well, but how about other terrestrial wildlife? (more…)

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New Requirements to Protect Ag Workers from COVID-19

COVID-19 has been devastating. More than 100,000 lives in the United States have been lost and the State of California’s budget has plummeted to more than $54 billion in debt. And in early May, unemployment claims in California exceeded 4 million! But through it all, agriculture in California continued. It continued because it had to. (more…)

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Getting the Most from Applied Phosphorus

I tend to ask a bunch of questions with my growers. It really bothers me when a new farmer client asks me to give them a proposal on a specific budget and I get no other information with the request. (more…)

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Growers and Handlers Prepare for Harvest Amid Pandemic

This year’s almond, pistachio and walnut harvests may look a little different than they have in the past. (more…)

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State of the Northwest Hazelnut Industry

The Oregon hazelnut industry is in the midst of a renaissance. After being on the brink of collapse in the wake of the Eastern Filbert Blight outbreak that decimated orchards from the late 1980s through the 2000s, the industry has battled back and is primed for a new era never seen before. (more…)

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Training and Pruning Basics for Hazelnut Trees

Proper training of young hazelnuts helps build a solid support structure that can stand up to ice, snow and heavy nut crops. Training young hazelnut trees are done in the first four or five winters. Continued pruning of older trees maintains a solid framework, increases production and encourages vigorous new growth. (more…)

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Cover Crops Catching on in Hazelnuts

With its clay soils and hilly terrain, Ioka Farms didn’t think it had much choice but to plant a permanent cover crop in its hazelnut orchards. “We had to have it, because we have this sticky red soil up here in the hills, and if you happen to have a wet year, it is really difficult to pick hazelnuts,” said Doug Duerst, an executive with the Silverton, Ore., farm. “And if we worked everything up and leveled it out, our topsoil would just erode right down to the rocks.”

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New Research Looks at the Impact of Trunk Guards in Hazelnut Orchards

New research at the Oregon State University North Willamette Research and Extension Center in Aurora is evaluating sunburn, trunk growth and other effects of trunk guards in new hazelnut plantings. OSU Extension Orchard Specialist Nik Wiman presented findings from the 2018 trial at the Nut Growers Society Winter Meeting, in Corvallis. (more…)

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Almond Growers and Handlers Navigate Market Uncertainty

The last several months have been nothing short of an economic roller coaster ride. The consumer has been bulk buying, causing a break down in the supply chain domestically and internationally. There was uncertainty in markets, and buyers were juggling supply and demand. The almond market has been fairing the storm and continues to make strides, though not without challenges. (more…)

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Marketing During a Pandemic: American Pecans Target Social Distancing Food Trends

As we honor our nation’s independence, many of us are celebrating differently this year—familiar routines may be upended due to restrictions or continued concerns for safety. As consumer behaviors have changed in recent months, successful marketing programs have likewise adapted. At American Pecans, remaining nimble in marketing strategy has allowed us to successfully adjust to the latest consumer trends and behaviors. (more…)

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Irrigation in Nut Crops using Evapotranspiration

Western nut growers increasingly rely on weekly evapotranspiration rates to create a water budget for irrigating nut crops. Allan Fulton, UC Irrigation and Water Resources Advisor in Tehama, Glenn, Colusa and Shasta counties, said growers should also consider the soil when putting together ET-based irrigation budgets. (more…)

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Science-Based Approach to Plant Bug Control

Developing a leaffooted plant bug (LFB) monitoring system, which ultimately could lead to integrated pest management strategies, is similar to the age-old riddle about what came first, the chicken or the egg. (more…)

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Funding Shovel-Ready Water Projects Can Help California Recover More Quickly

As the news cautiously turns to a discussion of getting back to work, we’re all trying to envision, and plan for, what our new world will look like. (more…)

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Jhalendra Rijal – Farm Advisor Profile

Growing up on a small, 10-acre farm on the other side of the globe gave Jhalendra Rijal, UCCE Area Integrated Pest Management Advisor a broad but unique perspective on agriculture and early interest in bugs. The tropical environment of his native Nepal allowed his family to grow an assortment of crops on the land, including rice, corn and a variety of vegetables. (more…)

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Almond Sustainability Supply Chain Program

A new program of the California Almond Sustainability Program (CASP) aims to improve communication between handlers and buyers about specific sustainability practices in the California almonds they are purchasing. The sustainability program has been in place for the last decade, and the new CASP Supply Chain Program should streamline the delivery of aggregated sustainable production practices that handlers can deliver to their buyers. (more…)

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Ensuring a Safe Harvest

Harvest is rapidly upon us and given the challenging circumstances of the last few months, it is easy to be sidetracked while focusing on those timely issues. Nonetheless, it is critical to remember that this time in the season exposes our operations to some of the greatest risk and as such, we must be vigilant in the steps we take to mitigate those potential problems. There are four areas to consider as you prepare your team for the safest possible harvest: night work, moving equipment between orchards, operation of equipment in the orchard, and ground crew risk.

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Protect Walnut and Other Nut Trees from Pacific Flathead Borer

Sunburn, graft union or pruning wounds on young walnut trees can all be entry ports for the destructive Pacific flathead borer. (more…)

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Whole Orchard Recycling Can Increase Yields Over Time

Exciting new research shows that conducting Whole Orchard Recycling (WOR) in almonds can increase crop yields in subsequent orchards, provide long-term benefits to soil health, such as improved water retention and nutrient levels, and increase carbon sequestration. (more…)

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