How We Grow

2021 Sept/Oct How We Grow

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WATER USE Water Technology Spotlight: A Grower's Perspective on Dendrometers Sal Parra, Jr. feels like he has a finger on the pulse of his almond trees, thanks to the strategic placement of dendrometers throughout his orchard blocks. "When I talked to some neighbors who used dendrometers before we did, they said it was like constantly having an EKG machine on your trees," recalled Parra, who, along with his father, manages 2,800 acres of almonds on Burford Ranch in the Fresno County town of San Joaquin. "The dendrometer literally records data in real time, providing multiple measurements per day so that I get a better story about what the tree is going through." Parra's adoption of dendrometer technology initially started as a trial on 40 acres, then evolved to placement on 500 acres, and eventually led to their installation across all 2,800 acres of producing almond trees. For Parra, the decision for widespread implementation of dendrometers was predicated on a bottom-line analysis related to yield and water. "Dendrometers ended up being about $40 to $45 an acre to install, but for us, we've consistently seen an increase in yield of 300 to 500 pounds per acre," Parra said. "On top of that, we're seeing anywhere from half- to three-quarter an acre-foot in water savings and when you're paying $300 an acre-foot, the savings add up really quick." ALMOND ORCHARD 2025 GOAL Sal Parra Jr. Assistant Farm Manager at Burford Ranch Continue on page 3 Almond Board of California 2

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