Gurreet Brar is the new farm advisor for nut crops in Fresno and Madera Counties. He comes to UC Cooperative Extension from University of Florida, where he obtained his Ph.D. conducting horticultural research in plant propagation and plant physiology. He is no stranger to Extension, as he conducted highly effective Extension programs in Punjab, India, before coming to the U.S. His primary goal as farm advisor will be to bring on-farm research directly to growers to improve production systems. He will be working with almond, pistachio and walnut crops.
The Almond Board of California (ABC) is already supporting Brar’s work in two areas:
- One of three plots in the third-generation of Regional Variety Trials at the UC Westside Field Station near Five Points, to be planted in 2014. The other two plots will be in northern and central San Joaquin Valley locations. The trials compare new varieties, which will include several self-compatible varieties, with the industry standard Nonpareil variety, assessing time of bloom, hullsplit and harvest; yield potential; nut quality and tree growth characteristics; and tolerance/susceptibility to pests and diseases.
- A survey to document field problems in almonds. The on-farm survey will document crop growth stages, farm operations and field problems. The data will be used to prioritize research and Extension goals for the Extension program in Fresno and Madera Counties.
Brar’s first almond symposium will be held June 12 in Kerman. He can be reached by email or at (559) 600-7218.