The Almond Board of California (ABC) Production Research
Committee consists of seven members, plus alternates, who represent a broad spectrum of almond industry members. They include growers, representatives from handler grower–member relations departments, an organic handler representative, technical crop consultants, pest control advisers, two ABC leadership program graduates and individuals who conduct almond production research.
At the direction of the Production Research Committee, ABC invests in research projects that provide keys to higher yields, improved quality and greater production efficiency. These
- Irrigation monitoring and scheduling
- Variety and rootstock selection
- Bee health and improved pollination
- Spray application techniques to reduce drift
- Reducing the need for replant fumigation
- Biorational reduced-risk pesticides
- Pesticide resistance management across insects, mites, weeds and diseases
Research looks into ways that almond production techniques and inputs can be used in the most efficient and cost-effective manner. This helps to reduce growers’ production costs, and lowers the potential impact of almond growing on the environment. In partnership with the Environmental Research Committee, collaborative research projects have resulted in practices that foster environmental stewardship, including:
- Water use efficiency
- Pesticide use and application practices for air and water quality
- Reduced reliance on replant fumigants
- State-of-the-art nutrient management that reduces off-site movement of fertilizers
- Bloom spray guidelines to minimize impact on honey bees
California’s almond growers have incorporated findings from ABC-funded research projects throughout the 40 years of the program to increase production efficiency and crop quality, while at the same time addressing environmental and regulatory issues.
Significant increases in yields — from 2,000 pounds per acre for the most productive orchards in the 1980s to 3,000 pounds and above today — have been realized through increased production efficiency and precision practices.
The Almond Board’s production research program has been recognized four times by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for IPM programs and pesticide environmental stewardship.