How We Grow

2021 July/Aug How We Grow

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Page 1 of 19

Welcome to the 16 th issue of How We Grow! Sixteen is not a special milestone, actually, and there is nothing that makes this issue particularly unique. Just another issue packed with information about the California almond industry from the Almond Board of California (ABC). We first published How We Grow in January 2019 to coincide with the launch of the Almond Orchard 2025 Goals – an industry-wide effort to focus research and resources in four key areas critical to the growth of the California almond industry: water, pest management, dust and zero waste. Our goal was to provide information on the latest research and best practices related to the four goal areas to help growers keep improving how we grow almonds. That's why we call it How We Grow. It's all about how we grow almonds and how we grow the industry to fulfill our mission to "make life better by what we grow and how we grow." Water is the one thing we are certain to talk about in every issue because it is our defining issue. Water is the lifeblood of our state and of our almond crop. This month we review ABC's Strategic Irrigation research portfolio – how ABC coordinates with industry-funded researchers to help growers find optimal answers to fundamental water efficiency questions: when to irrigate, how much to irrigate, and where precisely to irrigate. Read the article on page 9 to soak up the details. Another goal we talk about a lot is zero waste. Our obsession with zero waste is because it is all about adding real return on investment to the industry by finding higher value uses of almond hulls, shells and woody biomass. In this issue we cover research looking at incorporating dairy manure compost in almond orchards and the feasibility of incorporating almond woody biomass, such as tree prunings, into dairy compost. See page 15 for the full story on this moo-tually beneficial solution (sorry, I had to do it). Pest management is a broad goal that covers everything from mating disruption to weed control. But an often-overlooked aspect of pest management is protecting and promoting beneficial insects, including pollinators, and not just during bloom. The Almond Board was a driving force behind the California Pollinator Coalition, announced earlier this year to address this critical issue. The coalition will work to help farmers be part of the solution by providing resources to plant pollinator habitat on working lands. See what the buzz is all about on page 5. One of the goals we don't address in every issue is dust. Let's face it, farming is a dirty business and dust comes with the territory. And we have heard from some growers who feel the goal is unrealistic, especially during a difficult harvest year like 2020 when wildfire smoke impacted drying conditions which, in turn, required additional sweeping. We hear you and want to clarify that the dust goal was never meant to imply that every grower must reduce their dust by 50% during a particular year. It is an industry-wide goal (like the other three goals) over multiple years to encourage research and innovation in low-dust harvest technology, research that is in the works. We don't have an article on this goal in this issue because there is nothing new to report at this moment. And frankly, it's a dry subject. In all seriousness (and with apologies for the puns), we value your input and want to hear from readers of How We Grow on what type of content is most interesting to you. Please email me directly at with feedback to make How We Grow a better resource for you. On a final note, the 16 th issue of How We Grow is actually a very significant issue. It is the 16 th and final issue published under the direction of ABC Industry Communications Senior Specialist Ashley Knoblauch (Bloemhof). Ashley has been accepted to study law at the University of Miami in the fall to pursue her passion to become a legal advocate for the victims of sexual assault and human trafficking. As a daughter and granddaughter of almond growers and a processor, with a degree in English and Communications, Ashley brought her passion for almonds and words to her work every day. Over five years at ABC, Ashley worked to improve ABC communications with industry members, including many of her own family, using her excellent writing skills and even her beautiful voice (that's her singing backup on the beloved Mummy Shake song!). In recent years Ashley led the overhaul of the Almond Outlook print and e-newsletters – now How We Grow and In the Orchard. God speed, Ashley! I will miss discussing grammar, punctuation and the importance of words with you. The puns were in your honor. FROM LEADERSHIP Daren Williams Senior Director, Global Communications 1

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