How We Grow

2019 Nov/Dec How We Grow

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11 What is CASP? The California Almond Sustainability Program (CASP) is a self assessment that helps growers identify areas of improvement across their operation. Through the CASP online portal,, growers and handlers can complete modules, learn about alternative and best practices and utilize free decision support tools, while meeting regulatory requirements. All CASP modules were developed in partnership with industry members and scientific experts. In 2006, ABC's Board of Directors adopted this definition of sustainability: "Sustainable almond farming utilizes production practices that are economically viable and are based upon scientific research, common sense and a respect for the environment, neighbors and employees." 2009 CASP begins! First modules completed at ABC-led meetings f Irrigation Management f Nutrient Management 2017 2.1 Gold Standard Rating CASP earns 2.1 Gold Standard rating after being benchmarked with globally-recognized Sustainable Agriculture Initiative Platform's Farm Sustainability Assessment. f Rating globally recognizes CASP's means of assessing sustainable practices Almond Irrigation Improvement Continuum incorporated into CASP Irrigation Management module 2018 ABC Launches Supply Chain Engagement Pilot Program f Growers can voluntary share CASP data with their handlers, who receive a consolidated report on how their growers' practices compare with the state average and may share those reports with buyers to answer their sustainability questions. 2014 Nitrogen Budgeting Calculator debuts f Tool advises how much and when to apply nitrogen fertilizer to meet yield-based demand. Growers can use this tool to generate part of their Nitrogen Management Plan report required by the Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program. 2012 ABC launches online CASP assessment portal 2013 First CASP Report f Released to industry at The Almond Conference, the report analyzed all self-assessment data from the past five years and looked at strengths and opportunities for improvement within the industry. "When we were addressing misconceptions in the media about water use in almonds, CASP data allowed us to be able to say with statistical certainty that over 80% of growers review weather, soil moisture and/or tree demand to determine irrigation strategies rather than watering on a predetermined schedule." Gabriele Ludwig, Director, Sustainability and Environmental Affairs, ABC "CASP allows growers to see what alternative practices are available to them, and Blue Diamond members participating in the program say it has opened their eyes to new tools and potential solutions for their operations that they hadn't previously considered." Mel Machado, Director, Member Relations, Blue Diamond Growers

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