As we complete this year’s research budgeting cycle, I have been reflecting on the critical issues facing almond growers, and the role of the research program sponsored by the Almond Board of California in meeting these formidable challenges. Here are a few:
Water: There has never been a time during which an adequate and reliable water supply for the Central Valley has been so uncertain. Those who rely on the state and federal water projects are particularly aware of the tenuous commitment of the public to support a sustainable agricultural
industry, but even those relying on groundwater will soon be facing
similar pressures in many areas.
Environment: The issue of nitrates in groundwater is at the forefront right now, but other issues loom as well. The use of crop protection materials, the required introduction of new engine technology, the reduction of NOX emissions by 80 to 90% in the valley, and more, will require adaptation.
Pollination and Pest Control: Each of us can look at our own situation here and understand the challenges.
There are many more, and the research efforts we support will do much to meet these challenges. Take a look in this issue at the list of past and current projects supported by the Production
Research and Environmental Committees, and the relevance of our efforts will be apparent. Much credit goes to the staff and volunteers who make these efforts so effective.
Joe MacIlvaine, Chairman
Production Research Committee