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Develop Strategic Skills to Move the Almond Industry Forward Apply Now for the 2017 Almond Leadership Program
The Almond Leadership Program, a yearlong, annual program developed by Almond Board of California (ABC), aims to grow leadership within the almond industry. The program was developed to inspire and prepare the California Almond community to join a network of leaders embracing the challenges of a changing industry.
Entering its eighth year, the Almond Leadership Program has grown the industry knowledge base of past participants, while also preparing participants for how to represent the industry when dealing with difficult questions. Throughout the years, the program has evolved into helping participants grow as leaders and advocates.
“In farming, there are issues that surface, from air pollution to water usage,” said Sim Batth, 2015 Almond Leadership Program participant. “Through efforts like the Almond Leadership Program, ABC does a great job of mitigating these issues, and helping to prepare the potential leaders in the industry to answer difficult questions.”
Many participants who join the leadership program have prior experience working in the almond industry, but have the motivation to advance their involvement within the industry. The program will enhance participants’ management skills and strategies to enable them to become better leaders in the almond industry.
“I started working in the almond industry with zero agricultural experience, and the leadership program helped me learn a lot,” says Bobby McCuan, 2013 Almond Leadership Program participant. “After participating in the program, I’ve been able to evolve my career for the better and continue my involvement in the almond industry.”
At the completion of each annual program, participants serve as nonvoting members for a year on an ABC committee to continue to expand their leadership skills and their involvement within the almond industry beyond their day-to-day activities. “It’s my job to work with several commodities, and after participating in the program, I’ve gone from minimal involvement in the almond industry to being heavily involved,” said Batth. “I currently sit as a leadership member on the Global Market Development Committee, so I’m able to have a voice and contribute within Almond Board of California.”
Applications for the 2017 Almond Leadership Program are available now and will be accepted until 5:00 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9, 2016. To apply, go to Almonds.com/Growers and look for “Almond Leadership Program” under “Programs & Events,” or you can contact Jenny Nicolau at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 343-3248.
About Almond Board of California
Almonds from California are a natural, wholesome and quality food. The Almond Board of California promotes almonds through its research-based approach to all aspects of marketing, farming and production on behalf of the more than 6,000 almond growers and processors in California, many of whom are multigenerational family operations. Established in 1950 and based in Modesto, California, the Almond Board of California is a nonprofit organization that administers a grower-enacted Federal Marketing Order under the supervision of the United States Department of Agriculture. For more information on the Almond Board of California or almonds, visit Almonds.com or check out California Almonds on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and the California Almonds blog.
Online Irrigation Calculator Streamlines Decision-Making for Almond Growers
A new Irrigation Calculator is available to the California Almond industry that aims to help growers irrigate more efficiently. Supported by Almond Board of California (ABC) and designed in partnership with University of California irrigation experts and consulting firm SureHarvest, this online calculator ensures that grower irrigation schedules are based on local growing conditions by integrating a number of variables, including weather and orchard conditions, with irrigation system type and efficiency. The free tool is available through the California Almond Sustainability Program (CASP) website at SustainableAlmondGrowing.org.
To use the Irrigation Calculator, growers will need to enter information about their orchard, such as row and tree spacing, age and percent canopy cover, along with optional inputs such as soil texture and rooting depth. The calculator automatically obtains weather data for the calculations from the nearest California Irrigation Management Information System (CIMIS) weather station, based on zip code. Some basic information about a grower’s irrigation setup is also required, including whether it is a drip, microsprinkler or solid-set sprinkler system; average gallons-per-hour rate; and distribution uniformity. Once this information is entered, the calculator will provide amounts to irrigate based on the weather and orchard inputs, and run times based on the irrigation system inputs.
Guidance for obtaining some of the required inputs is provided through hover text and pop-ups, saving growers the effort of researching this information on their own.
The Irrigation Calculator accesses local weather data from CIMIS. Growers select the CIMIS weather station closest to their operation or orchard to receive the most accurate information. The time needed for individual irrigation systems, as defined by the grower, to replace the water lost due to evapotranspiration in a specific time period will be calculated and provided through the tool.
“The beauty of the Irrigation Calculator is that growers can enter all the basic information from their orchard in one place, and the tool will calculate how much irrigation water is needed based on those specific conditions using the seasonally relevant almond crop coefficient [ETc],” said Gabriele Ludwig, Ph.D., director of Sustainability and Environmental Affairs at Almond Board of California. “The goal is to make some rather lengthy calculations simple in order to obtain a basic calculation of irrigation demand specific to characteristics of the orchard.”
The information can be cloned and modified for different orchard blocks, saving the effort of re-entering required input data for each orchard, and growers can begin using the calculator at any time during the growing season.
Goal of Improved Efficiency
The irrigation calculator complements a new effort by the Almond Board of California that encourages all almond growers to adopt irrigation management practices to improve irrigation efficiency. The Almond Irrigation Improvement Continuum, developed in partnership with UC, CSU and UC Extension irrigation experts, includes five practices:
• Measuring irrigation system performance and efficiency;
• Estimating orchard water requirements based on evapotranspiration;
• Measuring the amount of water applied;
• Evaluating soil moisture; and
• Evaluating plant water status.
Building on the Almond industry’s decades-long commitment to improving water use efficiency, the continuum defines three proficiency levels: 1.0 (minimum), 2.0 (intermediate) and 3.0 (advanced). The minimum level is something that any grower can implement with limited additional investment in time and/or financial resources. Levels 2 and 3 refine irrigation management with the employment of additional investments.
“Through resources such as the Almond Irrigation Improvement Continuum, the Almond Board is working to translate decades of research into grower-friendly, easy-to-use tools that can help improve how we grow almonds,” explained Dr. Ludwig. “Not only does good irrigation water management help trees produce to their highest potential, it also ensures good management of nitrogen inputs. Fundamentally, the tools and the continuum are about increasing our efficiency and sustainability around California’s most valuable natural resource — water.”
About the Almond Board of California
Almonds from California are a natural, wholesome and quality food. The Almond Board of California promotes almonds through its research-based approach to all aspects of marketing, farming and production on behalf of the more than 6,800 almond growers and processors in California, many of which are multi-generational family operations. Established in 1950 and based in Modesto, California, the Almond Board of California is a non-profit organization that administers a grower-enacted Federal Marketing Order under the supervision of the United States Department of Agriculture. For more information on the Almond Board of California or almonds, visit Almonds.com or AlmondSustainability.org. Be sure to check out California Almonds on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and the California Almonds blog.
Research to Better Understand Spider Mite Migration Timing
Research to Better Understand Spider Mite Migration Timing
Spider mites overwinter in orchard floor and move to the trees as the season progresses in spring. In practice, we only know mite presence/infestation in almond trees after we see the damage on leaves in spring or later. In this regard, finding the ways to trap mites in tree trunk while they are moving up from their overwintering sites may provide an early estimation of the future mite population and their migration timing. Knowing the movement timing can be helpful in finding alternative ways to control mites. This is an area of research that UC IPM Advisor Jhalendra Rijal will be pursuing in the future. Frank Zalom and Walt Bentley created the tree band concept depicted here in the 1990s, and Rijal will be utilizing it for the study.
Hazelnut Grower of the Year
Learning & Growing Oregon’s Hazelnut Industry
Awarded and recognized at the 101st annual meeting of the Nut Growers Society as the 2015 “Grower of the Year”, hazelnut grower Jeff Newton is among the many pioneers that has led the fast-growing and flourishing hazelnut industry in Oregon that exists today. Read all about him and his orchard practices in the October issue of Pacific Nut Producer Magazine and watch an interview with him in the orchard on the video news section of this website.
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