How We Grow

2019 Nov/Dec How We Grow

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13 CALIFORNIA ALMOND SUSTAINABILITY PROGRAM CASP Measures Success Towards 2025 Goals In 2018, the Almond Board of California (ABC) Board of Directors set the Almond Orchard 2025 Goals to further establish our industry's commitment to sustainability and continuous improvement, and to communicate that commitment to the world. Over the past year, industry leaders have worked to determine how to monitor progress against the goals and found many answers in the California Almond Sustainability Program (CASP). Now in its tenth year, CASP data benchmarks industry practices needed to demonstrate progress. Moving forward, CASP data will be used to demonstrate the industry's rate of adoption of best practices spanning the 2025 Goals, from water use and integrated pest management to harvest dust and zero waste. The historic drought is still fresh enough in everyone's minds that it should come as no surprise that water is among the 2025 Goals. Now with the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), pressure continues to ratchet up on being efficient in our use of water. The metric the industry will use to measure progress toward the goal of using 20% less water to grow a pound of almonds encompasses both the measurement of water applied to an orchard and the measurement of yield. Research shows that yields improve more when water is targeted to address the trees' needs versus irrigations scheduled based on soil moisture or the calendar. By targeting irrigation scheduling more precisely, a grower can get a higher yield for the same amount of water — more crop per drop — which is the intent of the goal. This research, and the tools to help growers put it into practice, are built into CASP's Irrigation Continuum, which educates growers on how to optimize their irrigation management. The CASP data which tracks growers' adoption of these efficient practices will inform the industry's progress in reaching this goal. In the area of pest management, one only needs to look at increasingly stringent European pesticide regulations on residues, or California's recent ban of chlorpyrifos, to understand the rationale behind the 2025 Goal of increasing environmentally friendly pest management practices by 25%. ABC research over the past forty years has delivered IPM 3,563 4,016 4,265 4,436 4,613 4,798 4,990 1,520 1,714 1,820 1,893 1,968 2,047 2,129 2,144 1,848 2,367 3,186 2,986 3,074 2,613 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 Projected Almond Biomass (2019-2025) 2024/25 9,900 mil. lbs. DM 2019 7,200 mil. lbs. DM 12,000 10,000 8,000 6,000 4,000 2,000 – Biomass Volume Increasing as Almond Production Continues to Grow Hulls Shells Trees Mil. Lbs. Dry Matter (DM)

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