WCN1219 Archives - West Coast Nut

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Winter Prep for Pistachios

Almonds and walnuts may be California’s heavy hitters in the tree nut market, but pistachios also hold a valuable place, even if this crop experiences less of the spotlight, and has less research that finely tunes the growing processes. “There’s no step-by-step guide because everyone does different things,” says Craig Kallsen, University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) farm advisor specializing in citrus and pistachios. Even though there aren’t any hard and fast rules about pistachio orchard best practices, there are a few things growers can do to ensure their orchard remains healthy during the winter months.

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UC Davis 2020 Short Course: Principles of Fruit and Nut Tree Growth, Cropping, and Management

Farming is often a multigenerational legacy, but what about those who are just starting out and are brand new to the farming game? University of California (UC), Davis has you covered. From March 23-April 2, 2020, UC Davis will be hosting a short course focusing on the tree growing basics in an agricultural business setting. Who Should Attend The course is open to anyone interested in learning how to grow and care for a related orchard, along with various aspects it entails. “It’s designed to give a thorough introduction to people who are brand new to farming,” says Kevin Taniguchi,...

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Post-Harvest Prep for Walnuts: Weeds, Nutrients, and Bot

Harvest takes a toll on orchards, and as the hustle and bustle of walnut harvest comes to a close, trees need time to rest, recover, and refuel. Growing operations may be headed into a slower time of year, but post-harvest actions taken to prepare the tree for—or nourish the tree during winter—help ensure its health and productivity come spring. Less active months are good times to check equipment and revisit the effectiveness of the previous season’s protocols, while also considering the winter management of weeds, nutrients, and diseases or infections. Weed Control Luckily for walnut growers who have mature trees,...

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Post-Harvest Almonds: Getting Ready for Colder Weather

The rush of the almond harvest season is behind us, and now growers are heading into preparations and maintenance for next season. But, while the trees may slow down for the winter, a grower’s work doesn’t stop. There are a few things that you must remember or consider while the colder months approach. Water, nutrients, and other maintenance are vital to a successful crop next year. Postharvest Criticals Water One of the most important things you can do postharvest is water the trees. As much as possible, the trees need to have adequate moisture, which helps keep the leaves on...

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The Latest on Disease Resistant Rootstocks

Significant progress is being made in the development of walnut rootstocks that possess resistance to the major yield limiting diseases and soil-borne pathogens. “We are now working on putative disease resistant walnut genotypes which are being propagating to test in large scale field trials to determine how they perform compared to the greenhouse evaluations, “ said Dan Kluepfel, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)/Agricultural Research Service (ARS) research scientist and principal investigator of the walnut rootstock development program. “This is not just an academic pursuit. We have something in hand and in collaboration with nurseries are moving forward to place...

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Top Insects Plaguing California

Panelists at the first annual Crop Consultant Conference addressed insect pests that are the most economically damaging in specialty crops including tree nut crops. Control of these insect pests, said Kern County University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) farm advisor David Haviland, requires a game plan. Navel Orangeworm The number one insect pest in nut crops, navel orangeworm (NOW), is vulnerable over winter surviving inside mummy nuts left behind after harvest. Winter sanitation of orchards, by shaking mummies, blowing them to the row middles and shredding them is considered the most important strategy in NOW control. The integrated pest management...

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A New Approach to IPM

There is a new approach to integrated pest management said Dr. Surendra K. Dara, University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) entomology and biological advisor and speaker at the inaugural Crop Consultant Conference. The Journal of Integrated Pest Management published Dara’s work on The New IPM Paradigm for the Modern Age earlier this year. In his paper, Dara writes that the concept of IPM is not new and has historically been based on ecological and economic aspects of pest management. The new model, Dara said, is expanded to include management, business, and sustainability while emphasizing the importance of research and public...

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Temperature Controlled Bee Storage

Avoiding losses due to varroa mites, lack of adequate fall forage and high overwintering feeding/labor costs are all reasons California beekeepers have for considering storing their colonies indoors during the winter.   Temperature-controlled In temperature-controlled storage, bees are less active and go into a hibernation mode. This extends the life of the bees and causes a break in reproduction as the queen does not lay eggs. Bees normally live 40-50 days, but inside, their life span can be extended to 150 days, as they are not burning themselves out feeding their young. The break in reproduction can also break the...

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Advanced Harvest Almonds

Alternative Harvesting Practices Josette Lewis, the Almond Board of California’s (ABC) new Director of Agricultural Affairs predicted exploring alternative harvesting options will be a journey for almond growers as they make decisions and evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of what would be a major change for the industry. The topic of advanced harvest is so intriguing that it is one of the opening topics at The Almond Conference 2019 in December. (more…)

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Whole Orchard Recycling, a Grower’s Perspective

Christine Gemperle farms 135 acres of almonds in Stanislaus and Merced counties with her brother Erich. In November 2018, the pair pulled out 20 acres of old trees and decided to try Whole Orchard Recycling (WOR) for the first time on that same 20-acre block. Christine lives on the land that underwent WOR and had a front row seat to the whole process. WOR involves grinding trees into small chips then spreading that material across the field and disking it about six inches into the soil. For many growers uncertain of what to do with their old trees, WOR provides...

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Night Work in Agriculture Standard Imminent

For nearly half a decade, Cal/OSHA (California Division of Occupational Safety and Health) has been considering the creation of a regulation that specifically addresses the unique hazards found while working at night in agriculture. After many starts and stops, sufficient traction was reached in 2018 to meaningfully move the process forward and now the industry faces only a few bureaucratic hurdles before the long-discussed standard is reality. It is critical that anyone engaging in activities between sunset and sunrise understand the various steps to take to ensure compliance. Lighting Fundamentally, the risks to be addressed by the new standard are...

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Cal/OSHA Releases Revised Draft Nighttime Lighting Standard for Agriculture

In April of this year, Cal/OSHA (California Occupational Safety and Health) held a public hearing to consider specific requirements for lighting standards for working around agricultural equipment at night. The proposed new standard entitled “Outdoor Agricultural Operations During Hours of Darkness” was a result of a request by the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) submitted to the Cal/OSHA Standards Board in 2013 claiming they had investigated a number of accidents occurring in agriculture during nighttime work activities, including serious injuries and one fatality. In reviewing the information, it was determined that these accidents occurred primarily in the early...

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