WCN1121 Archives - West Coast Nut

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California Walnuts’ First-Ever National Snacking Retail Campaign Drives Success with Awareness and Sales

In an ongoing effort to change the way consumers think about walnuts, the California Walnut Board conducted its largest snacking campaign in May through August to encourage additional consumption of walnuts through snacking. The campaign found success with both consumer media coverage and a first-ever snacking-focused in-store retail program in July, resulting in strong year-over-year sales growth of walnuts for participating retailers. In online content, TV segments, advertising and promotions, consumers saw messaging about “Raising Your Nutrition IQ with California Walnuts” showing nutritious and tasty snack ideas, which drove awareness and product sales. The decision to run a campaign focused solely on snacking came...

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Dormancy:

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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Working at Heights

As one of many post-agricultural harvest operations, the nut hulling and processing industry continues to flourish in the state of California. The demand for this commodity has been a driving force in the growth of nut farming as well as processing facilities in the past few years. The increase of nut hulling and processing operations is accompanied by the safety challenges these employers face to keep employees safe and comply with Cal/OSHA regulations. Like any other agriculture-related business, nut processing operations are seasonal. This characteristic brings forth the exposure to non-routine safety risks. Non-routine tasks are work tasks that are...

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Understanding How Nitrogen is Utilized Improves Nitrogen-Use Efficiency for Almond Growers

California almond growers are embracing opportunities to improve nitrogen use efficiency and should be applauded for doing so, according to Patrick H. Brown, a professor in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis. But, he said, more can be done, and only through recognition of how nitrogen is utilized by the tree can growers reach 100% efficiency. The biggest key to realizing optimum performance and minimum loss, Brown said, is a recognition that nitrogen uptake in trees is directly correspondent to yield. That concept was discussed in a research paper that Brown, fellow UC Davis Plant Sciences Professor Emilio...

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Monitoring and Controlling Leafrollers in Hazelnuts

The European leafroller, archips rosana, is an evasive species known in Oregon as the filbert leafroller, or the hazelnut-filbert leafroller. The telltale sign of an infestation of leafrollers in a hazelnut orchard is tightly rolled leaves, but unfortunately, after the larvae have rolled the leaves, the damage has already been done. An adult leafroller is a 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch-long moth. It’s dark brown in color with darker lines across the wings. Females lay flat, irregular masses of eggs on bark or branches in July. By springtime, the egg masses turn grayish in color. The larvae hatch in early spring. The...

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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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Northstate Nut Growers Consider the Hard Decisions if Drought Continues

There is one thing nut growers know for certain, and that is the uncertainty of Mother Nature. And uncertainty is what lays on the horizon as the west continues to navigate through a historic drought that has prompted federal and state cutbacks in regulated water supplies. In early August, the Water Resource Control Board adopted an emergency resolution allowing regulators to halt diversions from two of California’s largest river systems: the Sacramento River and the San Joaquin River watersheds. The order could apply to around 86% of land owners who have legal rights to divert water from these two systems,...

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Pacific Flatheaded Borer Emerges as Significant Pest of Walnuts, Hazelnuts

In the summer of 2018, UCCE IPM Advisor Jhalendra Rijal had his first direct encounter with Pacific flatheaded borer. “Some growers were reporting damage in walnuts,” he said. “We went out there, found larvae and later figured out it was flatheaded borer.” While not new to California agriculture, the Pacific flatheaded borer today is a significant pest of walnuts, particularly, but not exclusively, to young walnut orchards. In some cases, damage from the pest has approached 100%, Rijal said. In one case, Rijal noted, a grower ended up cutting every tree in his one-year-old orchard beneath the infestation points and...

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The Outlook for California’s Almond Market

The California almond industry has seen remarkable growth over the past couple decades. Can additional growth and high prices be sustained? We discuss expected changes in demand and supply moving forward, with implications for the success of California’s almond industry. California produces nearly all of the almonds grown in the U.S. and is also the world’s dominant almond producer. The remarkable growth of the California almond industry represents perhaps the greatest success story in California agriculture in recent decades. California’s bearing almond acreage expanded from 418,000 in 1995 to 1,250,000 in 2020. Production rose over this same period from 370...

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Five Things That Worked for Pest Control in 2021 — and a Few Things That Didn’t

PCAs interviewed at the 2021 Crop Consultant Conference and in the field emphasized nutrition, sanitation, tracking degree days and mating disruption as their major tools to keep crop damage low in tree nut crops this year. No surprise that navel orangeworm (NOW) and mite control were their two biggest challenges throughout a hot and dry summer, but they all had strategies that worked as well as some that worked less effectively. What Worked Their five most successful strategies for pest control in 2021 were: Sticking with a Plan “We had a good pest control plan,” said David Vieira, PCA for...

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New Off-Ground Harvest Research Incorporates Precision Yield Monitoring for Improved Orchard Management

Off-ground harvest is continuing to advance as a viable method for harvesting almonds in California, and a new UC Davis research project is using precision agriculture technologies to further capitalize on its benefits. The project, which includes researchers with UC Davis and USDA-ARS, and in partnership with Erick Nielsen Enterprises, Inc., was envisioned by UC Davis Plant Sciences Professor Patrick Brown. It uses the off-ground harvester as a “method” to measure individual trees’ yields across an orchard, according to UC Davis Professional Researcher and project collaborator Sat Darshan S. Khalsa. The purpose of measuring individual trees instead of taking an...

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Bridging the Ag Tech Divide

Do you sometimes feel like we are living in two alternate realities when it comes to ag technology? Does it seem hard to reconcile your daily experiences with the advanced vision of farming portrayed in commercials and trade shows? On the tech-enabled farm, every employee is recording helpful observations on their smartphone for later analysis. Automated equipment is precisely applying biological pesticides, and irrigation schedules have been calculated and executed to perfectly match crop demand. Obviously, this results in ever-increasing yields and profitability. The reality you encounter each day out on the ranch, however, is much different. You step out...

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IPM’s Role in Crop Quality

Quality expectations are high, market competition is intense and production costs are up. “Where does that leave tree nut growers and their pest control advisors?” asks UCCE Farm Advisor Franz Niederholzer. In a Yuba-Sutter counties webinar series, Niederholzer noted that while markets are generally strong, maximizing net returns per acre is especially critical to economic sustainability in the almond industry. Cost effective pest management, Niederholzer stressed, is the key to maximizing return per acre. Insect pests that can cause economic damage in tree nuts fall into two categories: mobile and immobile. Leading the way on the mobile list of annual...

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2021 Recap Report of APC’s Marketing in the Health Professional Sphere

Reaching the eyes and minds of health professionals is crucial to gaining a competitive advantage in the health and food marketplace. American Pecan Council (APC) contracted with Eat Well Global to help boost pecans in the health and nutrition arena. The strategic goal for APC’s marketing activities through Eat Well Global was, “To increase top-of-mind awareness of pecans among target credentialed health professionals,” and throughout 2021, Eat Well Global executed against the following strategies: • Demonstrate pecans’ differentiating nutrition and flavor qualities compared to other nuts • Showcase pecans’ culinary versatility • Address barriers to pecan consumption In this article,...

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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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Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Protections Edging Toward Permanent Standard

As 2021 rapidly comes to an end, it has become quite apparent in recent months that COVID-19 will continue to be a part of our lives as we march into 2022. Cal/OSHA also appears to agree with this assessment as they are preparing to create a permanent standard for COVID-19. This new permanent standard would most likely be adopted in spring 2022 by the Cal/OSHA Standards Board. In this article, we discuss elements of the proposed permanent standard and the differences between it and the current Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS). This September, the Cal/OSHA Standards Board convened a virtual advisory...

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