Change Site
Growers
Go Search
cancel
cancel
Thank you for signing up for eNews and/or creating an Almond Profile.
Your sign-up is complete.


 Categories



Recent Issues
[+]  July 2014
[+]  June 2014
[+]  May 2014
[+]  April 2014
[+]  March 2014
[+]  February 2014
[+]  January 2014
[+]  December 2013
[+]  November 2013
[+]  October 2013
[+]  August 2013
[+]  July 2013
[+]  June 2013
[+]  May 2013
[+]  April 2013
[+]  March 2013
[+]  February 2013
[+]  January 2013
[+]  December 2012
[+]  November 2012
[+]  October 2012
[+]  August 2012
[+]  July 2012
[+]  June 2012
[+]  May 2012
[+]  April 2012
[+]  March 2012
[+]  February 2012
[+]  January 2012
[+]  December 2011
[+]  November 2011
[+]  October 2011
[+]  August 2011
Past Issues
Search:

Closing Data Gaps in Environmental Regulations

As environmental regulatory issues have evolved and become more complex, research funded by the Almond Board’s Environmental Committee has also evolved over the last decade. The work of the environmental research program not only helps growers maintain sustainable almond production, it also helps to collect important data related to almond production, which has become the target of increasingly complex environmental regulations.

When the Environmental Committee was first formed a decade ago, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) was regulating PM10 emissions using a single study on which it based its calculations for how much PM10 dust was emitted from almond and walnut harvesting. An eight-year effort initiated by the Environmental Committee found that the actual amount of PM10 emissions was roughly a third less than the CARB number. This research effort also led to the development of techniques to reduce dust while harvesting.

Fine-Particle Emissions
This research and data development continues to be critical as regulators now turn their attention to regulating PM2.5 (fine) particulate emissions in the San Joaquin Valley. Regulators have been assuming a certain percentage of the dust emitted at almond harvest is PM2.5. However, data from the PM10 work indicates that almost none of the ag dust created during harvest is that small.

When CARB developed baseline emissions for N2O, a potent greenhouse gas, there was no data for emissions from perennial crops in an irrigated system in a Mediterranean climate. As a result of recent Environmental Committee–funded studies, there now is some five years of data collected under different conditions, showing both that the N2O emissions from nitrogen fertilization are less than initially assumed and that they are very difficult to consistently reduce.

Nitrate Issue
The focus of research over the next couple of years will help us gain a better understanding of nitrate movement in the root zone and below, given the lack of data in this area. Water quality regulators assume that any nitrogen not taken up by the plant is available for leaching; there is very little data showing how nitrogen best management practices actually affect the amount leached below the root zone. To obtain this data, the committee pulled together a group of researchers who know both the plant and the soil aspects of nitrogen movement, and whose work will be funded jointly by a California Department of Food and Agriculture Fertilizer Research and Education Program (CDFAFREP) grant and contributions from the ABC and Pistachio Research Board. This work is just beginning.

Share this article
Related Articles
Image 01 Image 01 Image 01 Image 01 Image 01 Image 01 Image 01 Image 01 Image 01 Image 01 Image 01 Image 01 Image 01 Image 01 Image 01 Image 01 Image 01
Warning: This link connects to a third party website not associated with the Almond Board of California. The link has been provided solely as a convenience to you and The Almond Board of California assumes no responsibility for the accuracy, quality, safety, or nature of the content on the linked site.
Click Agree to continue to the requested site, or click Decline to return to your most recently viewed Almond Board page.
agree decline