How We Grow

2019 Nov/Dec How We Grow

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A L M O N D O R C H A R D 2 0 2 5 G O A L S WATER USE A L M O N D O R C H A R D 2 0 2 5 G O A L S ZERO WASTE 6 technical experts and resources such as the University of California Cooperative Extension. What's new in 2020? For many San Joaquin Valley almond growers, the "new normal" of reporting nitrogen and irrigation applications has already arrived. In the East San Joaquin Water Quality Coalition area, growers this year began using the new Irrigation and Nitrogen Management Plan (INMP) template, and by April 1 of 2020 must deliver their first INMP Summary Report to their coalition. Asked how East San Joaquin coalition members are adjusting to the new addition of irrigation reporting, Parry Klassen, the coalition's chairman, said growers initially greeted the new requirements during workshops last winter with "looks of incredulity." "I don't know that we got any quotable comments," he chuckled. However, he said the coalition will learn more when they begin receiving their first round of summary reports in the spring. Water quality authorities are now phasing in these requirements for growers in most other Central Valley regions, where growers will need to complete their INMPs by March 1, 2020. While there are templates online for creating the new plans, growers in so-called "high-vulnerability areas" (generally where nitrates exceed the drinking water limits, areas of highly permeable soils and/or where water tables are shallow) must have their INMPs signed off by a Certified Crop Advisor (CCA), or can self-certify by taking a class. Growers can contact their coalitions for more specific guidance on deadlines and requirements at CentralValley and at Nitrogen-Management-Plans/. Book Shares Industry's Zero Waste Efforts With Researchers, Entrepreneurs "Almond by-products or biomass from California are well utilized but their potential values have not been fully realized." So begins a chapter written by two members of the Almond Board of California (ABC) for a new book titled, "Integrated Processing Technologies for Food and Agricultural By-Products." In this chapter, ABC's Guangwei Huang, associate director of Food Research and Technology, and Dr. Karen Lapsley, chief scientific officer, wrote about the various ways almond coproducts are being used as well as some possibilities for use in the future: f Hulls are and have been an important part of dairy cattle feed products for many years, f Shells are used as bedding for dairy cattle and are being tested for use as filler for biodegradable plastic composites, f Old trees are being removed and recycled back into the ground and, in many cases, demonstrating great benefits to the soil. Using 100% of everything an orchard produces — from tree to nut — has been a focal point of ABC-funded research for more than a decade, and it's at the heart of one of the almond industry's four Almond 2025 Orchard Goals — to achieve zero waste in California almond orchards by putting everything grown to optimal use. Maximizing food by-products The new book's editors are two members of the Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department at the University of California, Davis — adjunct Professor Zhongli Pan and Professor Ruihong Zhang — plus Steve Zicari, an engineer at California Safe Soil in Sacramento and a UC Davis graduate. The goal of the book, Pan explained, is "to inform researchers, engineers and designers involved in agricultural, food production and processing industries of opportunities for integrating by-product recovery and use for improved resource-recovery and value." The book calls improving food and agricultural production efficiencies to feed the world's population "one of the most critical challenges of our time." Citing widely used statistics, it claims that almost a third of food produced for human consumption is wasted and that for every pound of food produced, "roughly an equal amount of non-food by-product is also generated, which poses a significant environmental and economic impact." 1 Identifying and inspiring new and commercially viable uses for food by-products is one of the primary objectives of the book, which was published in July and is now available on Amazon. "In order to develop sustainable food systems, it is imperative to maximize the "Our goal is to find a better way to use everything. We want to create value for growers." – Guangwei Huang 1 Pan, Z.; Zhang, R.; Zicari, S. (2019), Integrated Processing Technologies for Food and Agricultural By-Products. Cambridge, Mass.: Academic Press. Continue on page 7

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