Dear Industry Members,
For nearly 40 years, the California Almond industry has invested in research that has not only increased yield and quality, but also greatly improved production efficiency, environmental stewardship and food safety. This has contributed significantly to the growth of the industry and success of California Almonds around the world.
We can look back on successful Almond Board–funded research and public recognition in areas such as integrated pest management, which has been one of the keys for this industry to produce high-quality crops and be an acknowledged leader in environmental stewardship.
The payback on Almond Board–funded horticultural and irrigation management research is truly remarkable in that yields have essentially doubled over the last 20 years, and substantial gains have been made in resource use efficiency, thanks to advances in micro-irrigation and irrigation scheduling, tree nutrition, variety selection, planting patterns and minimal pruning practices.
With an eye to the future, numerous investigations currently under way are aimed at increasing production efficiency, maintaining quality and minimizing environmental impact. Examples include development of biorational pesticides, targeted sprayer application, efforts to reduce the need for replant fumigation, development of a nutrient budget approach to fertilization, and even better irrigation monitoring and scheduling. Altogether, past and present research delivers a high return on investment and assures that California Almonds are A Crop of Choice. Current Almond Board–funded research will be highlighted at The Almond Conference December 6–8. I hope to see you there.
Matt Billings, Chair
Production Research Committee