Environmental Information
for the California Almond Industry
Environmental Stewardship Campaign Newsletter Archive

December 2014

 


November 2014

  • Almond Board Releases New Honey Bee Best Management Practices - - The Almond Board has invested $1.6 million since 1995 on research related to honey bee health on subjects such as Varroa mite and other honey bee pest and disease issues, nutrition, the impact of pesticides and for technical assistance to beekeepers through tech transfer teams. Results from this research have been assembled into a series of new best management practices (BMP) guides, made available as part of a broad effort to disseminate information on best practices for honey bees during almond bloom throughout the chain of communication for those involved in almond pollination. Read More November 2014 Newsletter
     

  • True Story: Mel Machado, Chair of Environmental Committee - - California’s ongoing drought has sharpened media focus on water usage by almond growers. Unfortunately, some articles have reported some facts inaccurately and have left an incorrect impression about almond growers and their use of water. Read More November 2014 Newsletter
     

  • Good Neighbor Community Outreach Tells Positive Story of Almond Growing - - The premise of the recently launched Good Neighbor community outreach effort is simple: No one tells the story of California Almonds better than those who work every day growing and processing almonds. This outreach effort matches up growers in the community with smaller, local media outlets to educate friends and neighbors about the many environmentally friendly steps almond growers are taking to produce a sustainable food product. Read More November 2014 Newsletter


October 2014

  • Communication Prior to Bloom Key to an Effective Pollination Season -  - The first step toward a successful pollination season is communication between the beekeeper and grower/owner to ensure expectations are fully understood. Growers should contact beekeepers as early as possible before the pollination season to discuss their requirements. Growers who do not have an established relationship with a beekeeper can refer to the Pollination Directory on the Almond Board of California website. This database includes both beekeepers and bee brokers. Read More  October 2014 Newslette


September 2014

  • New Honey Bee Best Management Practices Literature to Debut at CAPCA - - Three new literature pieces developed by the Almond Board of California will be made available for the first time at the CAPCA conference Oct. 19–21 at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim. The three pieces include “Honey Bee Best Management Practices for California Almonds,” Honey Bee Best Management Practices Quick Guide for Almonds,” and “Applicator/Driver Honey Bee Best Management Practices for Almonds” (in English and Spanish). Read More September 2014 Newsletter
     
  • Save Water for Late Season - - In this water-short year, almond growers should remember to save enough water for late-season irrigation to avoid severe water stress during the period of fruit-bud differentiation from July through September. Studies have shown most varieties can withstand moderate stress during this period; however, severe stress can dramatically reduce bloom, fruit set and yield the subsequent season.  Read More September 2014 Newsletter
     
  • Second Round of Funding Available in State Water Efficiency Program - - If you missed the July 15 deadline to apply for financial assistance for improving the efficiency of your irrigation system, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has announced a new round of funding under the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP). Growers can receive up to $150,000 for water and energy conservation projects that result in increased water use efficiency and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. Read More September 2014 Newsletter


August 2014

  • New Literature Outlines Best Practices for Stockpiles - - Two new literature pieces, Stockpile Management Best Practices for Almond Growers and Stockpile Management Best Practices for Almond Processors, are now available online from the Almond Board of California. Read More August 2014 Newsletter
     

  • Communication Prior to Bloom Key to an Effective Pollination Season - - The first step toward a successful pollination season is communication between the beekeeper and grower/owner to ensure expectations are fully understood. Growers should contact beekeepers as early as possible before the pollination season to discuss their requirements. Growers who do not have an established relationship with a beekeeper can refer to the Pollination Directory on the Almond Board of California website. This database includes both beekeepers and bee brokers.  Read More August 2014 Newsletter
     

  • White House Focuses on Pollinator Health - - The importance of pollinator health has reached the White House. Recognizing the threats to pollinator health and their potential impact on the national economy, President Obama has expanded federal efforts to reverse losses of pollinators, including honey bees and monarch butterflies. In June, the White House announced the formation of an interagency Pollinator Health Task Force. Read More August 2014 Newsletter


July 2014

  • Almond Growers Make Good Neighbors - - We live in a time when the public’s trust of businesses and food companies is at an all-time low. As a result, the Almond Board of California’s (ABC’s) Board of Directors has recently approved a new strategic objective to establish a proactive public relations stewardship program. Read More July 2014 Newsletter
     

  • Irrigation Technology Helps Growers Cope with Drought -- While the current drought has caused growers to pay closer attention to irrigation practices, results from the California Almond Sustainability Program (CASP) reveal how California Almond growers have increased water-use efficiency through equipment and technology, and are coping with tight water supplies. Almond growers today use 33% less water to produce a pound of almonds compared to 20 years ago.  Read More July 2014 Newsletter
     
  • Applications Open for State Water Efficiency Program Dollars - - Have a plan to save water and reduce energy use in your irrigation system? The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has an estimated $10 million in competitive grant funding to provide financial assistance to agricultural operations for implementation of water conservation measures that result in increased water use efficiency and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. Read More July 2014 Newsletter


June 2014

  • Cost-Share Funds Available for Chipping - - The Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) Environmental Quality Initiatives Program (EQIP) has created the California Air Quality Chipping Initiative to help San Joaquin Valley growers chip and incorporate or haul off woody debris from orchards removed due to drought. The program has received federal drought relief funds to encourage the practice, which can help control erosion and protect air quality in lieu of burning. Read More June 2014 Almond Newsletter
     

  • Almond Update — Wes Asai Discusses Pest Management [with audio] - - Listen to pomology consultant, Wes Asai, as he discusses different methods of pest management during the recent Almond Environmental Stewardship tour. Asai also offers advice on the type of pests almond growers should be managing, including monitoring beneficial pest population.  Read More June 2014 Almond Newsletter
     

  • Hullers and Processors Speak on Behalf of Almond Industry - - In August 2013, the Almond Board of California (ABC) entered into an agreement with the Almond Hullers and Processors Association (AHPA) to provide the almond industry with a greater voice in issues relevant to the industry. Read More June 2014 Almond Newsletter
     

  • The Challenges of the 2014 Drought: Water Project Operations Briefing - - 2014 is one of California’s driest years on record, creating challenging conditions for operation of the state and federal projects that move water across the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. Read More June 2014 Almond Newsletter
     

  • Coping with Drought — Late Season Irrigation Is Vital for Next Year's Crop -- In this series on coping with drought, the Almond Board has been providing information and tools largely resulting from Almond Board–funded research to help growers cope with tight water supplies. An important principle to follow if water supplies are severely restricted is to spread out available water over the season in proportion to almond crop evapotranspiration (ETc.) Read More June 2014 Almond Newsletter
     

  • Joint USDA–Farm Bureau Meetings to Address 2014 Farm Bill - - Have questions about the new farm bill? Four USDA agencies will be present at workshops June 24 and 25 to answer questions about changes in such programs as conservation, commodities, crop insurance, rural development, loans, disasters, energy opportunities and more. Read More June 2014 Almond Newsletter  


May 2014

  • Using CIMIS Data to Calculate ETc in the Orchard - - The first report of the California Almond Sustainability Program, released in 2013, shows that while the vast majority of almond growers employ technology and practices to significantly improve irrigation efficiency, fewer than half are using crop evapotranspiration (ETc) as a calculation for scheduling irrigations. Read More May 2014 Almond Newsletter
     

  • EPA Proposes New Worker Protection Standards - - The U.S. EPA announced in February proposed revisions to its Worker Protection Standards that would include, among other proposals, additional signage and training requirements and “no-entry” buffer zones around pesticide-treated fields. The suggested revisions have been in process for more than 15 years as EPA has been gathering input from stakeholders on the current EPA Worker Protection Standard for Agricultural Pesticides, first established in 1992.  Read More May 2014 Almond Newsletter
     

  • Managed Deficit Irrigation - - A plant-based strategy for managed deficit irrigation (MDI), also known as regulated deficit irrigation, or RDI, targeting stress levels at specific crop stages can effectively manage hull rot and potentially reduce water use without impacting crop productivity. Read More May 2014 Almond Newsletter
     

  • Hope For Pollinators - - The State Board of Food and Agriculture met recently to hear an update on pollinator issues related to farming and the environment. The meeting brought together academics, agricultural representatives, beekeepers and environmental stakeholders to discuss the current status of pollinators. Read More May 2014 Almond Newsletter
     

  • Irrigation Tools and Resources for Almond Growers  - - The University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR), recently posted an additional resource online for Using the Pressure Chamber for Irrigation Management in Almonds. Read More May 2014 Almond Newsletter
     

  • Drought Workshop to Address Needs of Stanislaus County - - Turlock Irrigation District and Modesto Irrigation District are holding a joint workshop on the effects of the drought on Stanislaus County agriculture, how to implement effective deficit irrigation strategies, and what technical and financial assistance opportunities are available. Read More May 2014 Almond Newsletter
     

  • Planning for Replanting - - While replanting may not be currently on your mind, it is worth taking time now to start assessing whether you might need to fumigate your soils if you plan to replant in the next year or two. The landscape for fumigating soils is rapidly shifting. The regulatory picture is changing along with the fumigants available; if you plan to fumigate, it is likely that you will need the services of a specialized applicator, who may be booked up well in advance of fumigation timeframes. Read More May 2014 Almond Newsletter
     

  • Revised Online Course for Disease Management - - Disease Management for California Almond Production, an online CEU course developed by Western Farm Press and the Almond Board, has been recently updated.  Read More May 2014 Almond Newsletter


April 2014

  • Water Storage Is Key Element Sought in Water Bonds -- There are several water bonds being considered by the California Legislature, and one key factor being considered in all of them is a provision for infrastructure development, including new storage. Other critical provisions include drinking water quality, water supply for disadvantaged communities, Delta environmental sustainability projects and regional water management projects and strategies. Read More April 2014 Almond Newsletter
     

  • Almond Sustainability Program Offers Nitrogen Budgeting Tool - - The Almond Sustainability Report released at last year’s Almond Conference reveals that nutrient and irrigation management efficiencies have a significant impact on air quality and energy in addition to nutrient management and water quality and supply. It also points out that such practices are being used by more than 70% of growers who have participated in the California Almond Sustainability Program (CASP). Read More April 2014 Almond Newsletter 
     

  • Agriculture Added to Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan - - The California Air Resources Board (ARB) has released a new draft of a scoping plan that lays out how California is meeting and is expected to meet the greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions required by Assembly Bill 32. The 2006 law requires California to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 25%, back to 1990 levels, by 2020, and even further, to 20% of 1990 levels, by the year 2050. Read More April 2014 Almond Newsletter
     

  • Increasing Irrigation Efficiency - - Timing and system maintenance improve application accuracy, save water. In this time of drought, irrigation experts recommend almond growers facing reduced levels of available water spread out irrigations over the season as much as possible in proportion to almond evapotranspiration (ETc). Understanding how to schedule irrigations using ET, therefore, is important for efficient water use. Read More April 2014 Almond Newsletter


March 2014

  • Spring Monitoring and Control of Leaffooted Bugs  - - Spring is a critical time to monitor and control overwintering leaffooted bugs that are moving into and feeding on developing almond nuts, resulting in crop losses from fruit drop. Read More March 2014 Almond Newsletter
     

  • Reporting Sustainability - - By  Mel Machado, Chair of Environmental Committee - - The California Almond Sustainability Program (CASP) is now entering its sixth year, and information gathered thus far confirms what many in our industry have been saying: Almond growers are excellent stewards of the resources needed to produce their crops. The collective data has been used to create the first — or baseline — report documenting the practices growers employ to produce their crops, as well as areas in which growers would like additional information to improve their operations. Some of the information has already been published, and you’ll be seeing more in the coming months. Read More March 2014 Almond Newsletter
     

  • New Deadlines Set for Irrigated Lands Program - - The State Water Resources Control Board is expected to approve a request from the East San Joaquin Water Quality Coalition (ESJ) to postpone the deadline for growers in high-vulnerability areas within the Coalition to file a Farm Evaluation Plan until May 1, 2014. Growers originally had until March to meet the deadline, but the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board has requested an extension to allow an online filing system to be developed by the Coalition. Read More March 2014 Almond Newsletter
     

  • Permits Required for High-VOC Formulations - - Growers in the San Joaquin Valley planning to use high VOC (volatile organic compound) formulations of the pesticides that contain chlorpyrifos (Lorsban), abamectin (Agri-Mek) or oxyfluorfen (Goal) must first get a written recommendation from their pest control adviser that the high VOC formulation is needed before material is purchased. Read More March 2014 Almond Newsletter
     

  • Tier 1 Pump Replacement Deadline Approaching - - Growers in the San Joaquin Valley currently operating Tier 1 diesel pump motors have until the end of this year to replace those engines with cleaner burning Tier 4 motors under state ozone regulations designed to reduce PM 2.5 and NOx emissions. Read More March 2014 Almond Newsletter
     

  • Survey to Support Integrated Pollination - - Participating in an online survey on pollination management will not only help improve outreach, Extension and research on pollination management for California Almonds, it will also give you a chance to win an iPad. Read More March 2014 Almond Newsletter


February 2014

  • Work Together to Make Progress on Water Policy - - When it comes to California water policy, “the impulse in the state of California has been to throw money at water, hoping or wishing that something miraculous will occur, thus solving our current and future dilemmas related to supply,” said Phil Isenberg in a keynote speech on water policy delivered at The Almond Conference in December. Isenberg is a 50-year veteran of state politics and serves as chair of the Delta Stewardship Council. Read More February 2014 Almond Newsletter
     

  • Irrigation Scheduling with Tight Water Supplies - - California is in its third year of drought with no relief in sight, and not enough time left in the rainy season to make up for shortages. Under these conditions, growers with reduced levels of water should use all the technology available to optimize irrigations. Read More February 2014 Almond Newsletter 
     

  • CASP Workshops Coming Your Way - - Since 2009, more than 1,000 California Almond growers have participated in the California Almond Sustainability Program (CASP) by attending a grower workshop. At these workshops, hosted throughout the Central Valley, growers come to learn about CASP and voluntarily fill out some self-assessments before eating lunch and getting back out to the ranch. Read More February 2014 Almond Newsletter  


January 2014

  • Almond Board Serves Up Almond Stewardship at DPR Brown Bag Lunch - - The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) in November invited almond industry members to speak at its regular “Brown Bag Luncheon” for regulators about almond production and what the industry is doing to be good environmental stewards. Read More Jan. 2014 California Almonds Newsletter
     

  • Easier Than Ever to Be in Sustainability Program - - With the new year comes a brand-new season for the California Almond Sustainability Program (CASP)! Participating is now easier than ever with the new sustainability website, www.sustainablealmondgrowing.org.  Read More Jan. 2014 California Almonds Newsletter
     

  • Nitrogen Fertilizer Application Reporting Requirement Delayed - - The new requirement for reporting nitrogen fertilizer applications to cropland has been delayed one year, a result of developments stemming from a report to the legislature about nitrate contamination in groundwater, the Coalition for Urban/Rural Environmental Stewardship (CURES) reports in its current newsletter. The East San Joaquin Water Quality Coalition had its first nitrogen reports due on March 1, 2014. That deadline has been extended to March 1, 2015, a date approved at the Oct. 3 meeting of the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board. Read More Jan. 2014 California Almonds Newsletter 
     

  • "Bee" Careful at Bloom - - It’s not all up to beekeepers; almond growers can also be active participants in improving pollination of their crops.Read More Jan 2014 California Almonds Outlook
     

  • Nitrate Study Impact Being Felt with Proposed State Legislation - - The impact of the landmark UC Davis study on nitrate in drinking water, released in March 2012, is being felt throughout California agriculture as state legislators debate legislation addressing safe drinking water issues raised in the report. Read More Jan 2014 California Almonds Outlook
     

  • Drought Management "What Ifs"  - - With some rainfall (and snow in the mountains) in November and December, the water availability picture may brighten somewhat, but as Dr. Ken Shackel, UC Davis, said at an Almond Conference workshop on Irrigation Strategies for Drought Management, “No one has to be told we’re having a drought — it’s serious.” Read More Jan 2014 California Almonds Outlook


December 2013

  • New Coalitions, Rules for Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program - - New watershed-specific coalitions have been formed for growers in the Tulare Lake Basin south of the San Joaquin River to Kern County who have not already signed up with a coalition. Any grower who irrigates must identify their appropriate coalition and sign up before spring, or else obtain individual waste discharge permits. The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board (Regional Board) in September approved Waste Discharge Requirements (WDRs) for 2.5 million acres of farmland in the Tulare Lake Basin area in Fresno, Tulare, Kings and Kern counties. Read More December 2013 California Almonds Outlook
     

  • What Growers Can Do to Improve Almond Pollination - - It’s not all up to beekeepers; almond growers can also be active participants in improving pollination of their crops. According to best management practices developed by Project Apis m., providing supplemental food and clean, accessible water is a good start. Read More December 2013 California Almonds Outlook
     

  • Sustainability Report Reveals Strengths, Opportunities - -  After four years of almond grower participation in the California Almond Sustainability Program (CASP), the first report is being released at The 2013 Almond Conference. The Almond Sustainability Report not only provides a summary of all self-assessment data to date, but also analyzes the grower practices that have the greatest effect on the environment and growers’ economic situation. Read More December 2013 California Almonds Outlook


November 2013

  • Progress in Research - - by Mel Machado, Environmental Research Committee - - One of the strongest features of our industry is the legacy of research that we have created. The research programs funded by the Almond Board have improved productivity in the orchard while helping California Almond growers use resources more efficiently and minimize environmental impacts. Research on the nutritional aspects of almond consumption has also helped to increase consumer demand for products. Read More November 2013 California Almonds Outlook
     

  • Nov. 15 Deadline for EQIP Funding Applications - - Nov. 15 is the deadline to participate in the latest round of funding for a voluntary conservation program popular with almond growers. The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California has established the deadline to submit an Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) application. In past years, growers have implemented a variety of cost-share programs through EQIP for irrigation, nutrient management, cover crop and pest management projects. Read More November 2013 California Almonds Outlook
     

  • ABC’s Curtis Receives High Honor from UC Davis - - Bob Curtis, the Almond Board’s associate director, Agricultural Affairs, was awarded the UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CA&ES) Award of Distinction. The award is presented annually in October during a College Celebration event to those whose contributions and achievements enhance the college’s ability to provide cutting-edge research, top-notch education and innovative outreach, according to a university news release. Read More November 2013 California Almonds Outlook
     

  • Fall Finds Beekeepers, Growers Preparing for Pollination Season - - Fall is the time of year that beekeepers are busy preparing their hives for almond pollination. This is a critical time for beekeepers to maintain bee strength and build young colonies for almond pollination in early February. Water and food become especially important this time of year as beekeepers supplement protein and other feed sources to compensate for limited forage. Timing is critical for ensuring for strong, eight- to 12-frame colonies for pollination by early spring. Read More  November 2013 California Almonds Outlook
     

  • Meeting Explores Impact of Drought on Water Supply - -  The potential impacts of drought conditions next year on the state’s water supply and agriculture were the focus of a special Sept. 10 joint meeting of the California Water Commission and the California Board of Food and Agriculture. “What California grows is what the world is looking for,” said Craig McNamara, chair of the State Board of Food and Agriculture, at the meeting. “But if we don’t have water, we can’t continue this tremendous record of achievement.” Read More November 2013 California Almonds Outlook
     

  • Aboveground Gas Storage Tank Inspections to Begin - - Staff from the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District will be visiting agricultural operations holding district permits for vapor recovery systems for aboveground gasoline storage tanks. Enhanced vapor recovery performance standards and specifications for aboveground gasoline storage tanks were adopted by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) in 2008. The new standards went into effect this April, and in the San Joaquin Valley, permitted aboveground storage tanks must have a certified coating applied and a certified enhanced recovery pressure/vacuum vent valve installed. The inspections are to confirm that these steps have been taken. Read More November 2013 California Almonds Outlook


September/October 2013

  • Successful Pollination Starts with Contracts and Communication - - Recent media reports about problems with honey bee health invariably mention almonds as the crop most dependent on honey bees in the United States. Read More September 2013 California Almonds Outlook
     

  • On the Air with Almond Board of California - - Listen to Bob Curtis, associate director, Agricultural Affairs, as he discusses best management practices to protect honey bee health and safety, from establishing good communication with the beekeeper to planting forage as a supplement to the bees’ diet. Read More September 2013 California Almonds Outlook


August 2013

  • Officials Meet Growers, Recognize Their Challenges [with video] - - State and federal regulators who create rules related to water and air quality, endangered species, and pesticide and fertilizer use attended the Almond Board’s ninth annual Environmental Stewardship Tour in May, joining elected officials, media and other invited tour guests at Salida Hulling Association in Modesto. Read More August 2013 California Almonds Outlook  
     

  • Irrigated Lands Program Expands to Include Groundwater Protection - - The Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program (ILRP) has undergone an important shift in how it regulates almond growers, with the program expanding to include groundwater protection. Because it is too expensive and not scientifically valid to monitor groundwater quality as a measure of growers’ efforts to protect groundwater, the program instead focuses on assessing what practices growers are using to protect ground and surface water.  Read More  August 2013 California Almonds Outlook
     

  • Plan Now for Pollination [with video] - - The honey bee supply is being affected by a wide range of factors, including colony collapse disorder and related stressors such as Varroa mites, lack of pollen and nectar food sources, pesticides and pathogens. Bees go from famine to feast to famine as limited natural food and forage before and after almond bloom puts stress on bees. Almond growers can contribute to a better bee supply by providing forage in or near their orchards before and/or after almond bloom.. Read More August 2013 California Almonds Outlook
     

  • Soil, Water Conservationists Honor Almond Board, SureHarvest - - The Almond Board of California (ABC) and SureHarvest, which manages the ABC’s California Almond Sustainability Program, were both honored at the 68th Annual International Conference of the Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS) held in Reno in July. ABC was presented with the Honor Award by the California-Nevada Chapter of SWCS for collaborative research projects that have resulted in practices that foster environmental stewardship and help improve air, water and soil quality, while improving the economic viability of the California Almond industry. The chapter recognized the ABC Production Research and Environmental Committees and professional staff for leadership in partnering with the scientific community, regulators, governmental organizations and the private sector. Read More August 2013 California Almonds Outlook


July 2013

  • Reduce Water Use with Efficient Irrigation - - When water is in tight supply, improving irrigation efficiency will help protect the health of your trees and crop. Read More July 2013 California Almonds Outlook
     

  • Stockpiling, Moisture Content, Quality Problems and Aflatoxin - -Orchard management activities continue after harvest to protect the crop from contamination and loss of quality. Read More July 2013 California Almonds Outlook
     

  • Legislative Activity in D.C., Sacramento Affects California Almonds - - There has been much legislative activity in Washington that is relevant to the California Almond industry. Read More July 2013 California Almonds Outlook


June 2013

  • 40 Years of Discovery and Leadership in Almond Insect Pest Management - - This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Almond Board of California’s (ABC’s) Production Research Program, and improvements in yield and quality over the past 40 years are no coincidence. Read More  June 2013 California Almonds Outlook
     

  • New CDPR Proposal Would Further Tighten Fumigation Rules - - The California Dept. of Pesticide Regulation has proposed new regulations on the use of chloropicrin (Pic) to reduce potential worker and bystander exposure that could impact almond growers in the future who fumigate soil at replant with a Pic-containing product, such as Telone C35. Read More   June 2013 California Almonds Outlook
     

  • Leadership Through Production Research - - The Almond Board of California (ABC) Production Research Committee consists of seven members, plus alternates, who represent a broad spectrum of almond industry members. Read More  June 2013 California Almonds Outlook


May 2013

  • Make Nitrogen Fertilizer Rate Adjustments in May - - According to the new almond fertility protocol that is revolutionizing the way almond growers apply nitrogen fertilizers throughout the year, May is the time to make in-season adjustments to nitrogen budgets on the basis of April sampling results and adjusted yield predictions. Read More May 2013 California Almonds Outlook
     

  • Key Issues at Hullsplit: Hull Rot, NOW Sprays and Sprayer Calibration - - Now is the time to plan ahead for pest management activities leading up to and during hullsplit. The three key areas to consider at this time are hull rot, hullsplit sprays for navel orangeworm, and sprayer calibration and coverage. Read More May 2013 California Almonds Outlook
     

  • Seasonal Timing Determines Best-Management Tactic for Ground Squirrels - - A proactive, year-round strategy is the best approach for managing ground squirrels in almond orchards. Read More  May 2013 California Almonds Outlook
     

  • Honey Bees in the News - - Recently, both The New York Times and AXS TV newsman Dan Rather reported prominently on the situation with overwintering honey bee losses. Overall, beekeepers have reported that overwintering honey bee colony losses were greater this winter than the years before — on average, in the 40% range. Read More  May 2013 California Almonds Outlook


April 2013

  • Integrated Management Cuts Down Gopher Damage - - As almond trees have shed their blooms and trees are leafing out, it’s time for growers to turn their attention to one of the most vexing orchard problems: pocket gophers. Read More April 2013 California Almonds Outlook
     

  • Almond Board Engaged in Collaborative Efforts to Address Nitrate Issues - - The State Water Resources Control Board has released a report outlining 15 recommendations for addressing the issue of nitrates in groundwater. The report, mandated by the state legislature, comes nearly a year after the Water Board’s commissioned UC Davis report, which brought significant public focus on the issue of nitrates in groundwater in the Tulare Lake and Salinas Basins. Read More April 2013 California Almonds Outlook
     

  • Young Grower Finds Learning Value in CASP Participation - - Like many California Almond growers, Eric Genzoli has been able to manage what, at one time, was the most difficult insect pest in almonds: navel orangeworm. Read More  April 2013 California Almonds Outlook
     

  • Sample Leaves This Month - - If you are adapting your fertility program to follow the early-sampling and in-season nitrogen application program, remember to sample leaf tissue in April, approximately 43 days (plus-or-minus six days) after full bloom. Read More April 2013 California Almonds Outlook
     

  • Navel Orangeworm Pheromone Lure Now Available - - An effective navel orangeworm (NOW) pheromone formulation is now commercially available in a lure to be placed in traps for field monitoring. Read More April 2013 California Almonds Outlook
     

  • UC IPM Launches Video How-To Guide - - UC IPM has just published an online video to help almond growers manage pests using the year-round IPM program. Read More April 2013 California Almonds Outlook


March 2013

  • Hearings to Be Held March 14–15 on San Joaquin Valley Ag Motor Rules - - The California Air Resources Board has extended its time frame for developing new ag motor rules from one year to two years, and announced new rules will apply, at least initially, only to the San Joaquin Valley. Read More March 2013 California Almonds Outlook   


February 2013

  • Irrigated Lands Requirements Expanded for East San Joaquin Coalition - - Growers within the East San Joaquin Water Quality Coalition (ESJWQC) will be expected to track their nitrogen use and efforts to protect both surface and ground water starting in 2014. Read More February 2013 California Almonds Outlook
     

  • Fine-tuning Bloom Disease Programs - - A number of excellent fungicide treatments have been registered to protect against brown rot, shot hole, gray mold and jacket/green fruit rot, according to UC plant pathologist Jim Adaskaveg, who spoke at the 2012 Almond Conference in December. Read More  February 2013 California Almonds Outlook
     

  • New Protocol for Nitrogen Management: Hold Off on N Until Leaf-Out - - Almond growers who regularly make their first nitrogen applications in February should wait at least a month until leaf-out occurs, according to findings coming out of major research on almond nutrient management funded by the Almond Board and USDA. Read More February 2013 California Almonds Outlook
     

  • Sustainability Program Kicks into High Gear - - The California Almond Sustainability Program (CASP) season — now in its fifth year — is officially under way for 2013. This will be a watershed year for CASP, as SureHarvest is very close to preparing the first Almond Board report of statewide averages, which will tell the story of California Almond growers’ innovation, responsibility and sustainability. Read More  February 2013 California Almonds Outlook
     

  • Best Practices and New Information on Insecticide Applications During Bloom and Honey Bee Brood - -  Almond growers who plan to apply insecticides during bloom should carefully consider this approach. New information and data suggest some insecticides may impact honey bee brood (developing larvae) and alternative timing and choice of insecticides should be considered. Read More  February 2013 California Almonds Outlook


January 2013

  • Fine-Tuning Nitrogen - - By Joe MacIlvaine - - Under the new Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program, California growers will soon be required to develop a nutrient management plan to reduce the potential for nitrogen to leach into the groundwater. Read More January 2013 California Almonds Outlook
     

  • New Nitrogen Management Protocol Helps Almond Growers Comply with Mounting Regulations - - New research is putting California Almonds at the forefront of perennial crop nutrient management just as growers anticipate new nitrogen management programs to be required under the revised Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program. Read More January 2013 California Almonds Outlook
     

  • New Way to Report Sustainability Gaining Favor - - With the introduction of an online version of the California Almond Sustainability Program (CASP), growers are finding that filling out the information from their home or office computer is faster, easier and more convenient than attending a workshop. Read More January 2013 California Almonds Outlook
     

  • Regulatory Issues for 2013 - - From the orchard to the supermarket shelf, there are numerous regulatory challenges that the almond industry will face in the next year, both in the U.S. and around the world. Read More January 2013 California Almonds Outlook
     

  • Ag Truck Owners: Remember to Report Odometer Readings - - Owners of agricultural trucks are reminded to report Jan. 1, 2013, odometer readings to the California Air Resources Board (CARB) by Jan. 31 to maintain their agricultural exemption. Read More January 2013 California Almonds Outlook 


December 2012

  • Sustainable Progress By Mel Machado, Chair, Environmental Committee - - The completion of the harvest marks the end of a long period of work for California’s Almond growers and the approach of the holiday season. However, this period of respite also provides us with the opportunity to review our operations and prepare for the coming year.  Over the past year, many growers have chosen to participate in the California Almond Sustainability Program. This program provides our industry with priceless information on the practices and methods growers employ to produce their crops. Read More December 2012 California Almonds Outlook
     

  • Data Validates California Almond Growers' Sustainable Practices - - Increased participation in the California Almond Sustainability Program (CASP) is yielding statistically significant data that shows the almond industry is practicing sustainability in a range of production practices. The program is based on growers completing self-assessment modules to report which practices they employ in their operation or specific orchard. The five modules are: Pest Management, Irrigation Management, Nutrient Management, Energy Efficiency and Air Quality. Read More December 2012 California Almonds Outlook
     

  • Ag Working Group Addresses High-Speed Rail Issues - - The proposed development of a high-speed train (HST) system in California is raising concerns among San Joaquin Valley growers. Three segments of the proposed HST system will travel through 173 miles of the San Joaquin Valley — the San Jose to Merced section, Merced to Fresno section, and the Fresno to Bakersfield section. Read More December 2012 California Almonds Outlook
     

  • New Restrictions on Fumigant Labels Effective Dec. 1 - - New federal labels that contain new rules for applying major soil fumigants, including methyl bromide, chloropicrin and metam sodium, are in effect as of Dec. 1. (The rules apply to Telone C-35, which contains 35% chloropicrin.) The added restrictions are a result of a federal EPA review. The restrictions are intended to prevent bystander exposure from fumigation and include buffer zone restrictions (depending on tarp usage), notification requirements and the requirement that trained applicators be present. Read More December 2012 California Almonds Outlook
     

  • California Almonds to Benefit from Specialty Crop Block Grants - - California received more than $18 million out of the total $55 million awarded nationwide by USDA for the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program that began Oct. 1. The program provides grants to states to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops, which include nuts. Among the grants that were awarded, the following are of particular interest to almond growers: Read More December 2012 California Almonds Outlook


November 2012

  • Air Board Drafting Proposed Ag Tractor Rules; New Incentive Funds Available - - The State Air Resources Board (ARB) this fall held its first round of public workshops as it drafts rules to transition mobile agricultural equipment to cleaner burning, lower emission Tier 4 engines. Read More November 2012 California Almonds Outlook
     

  • Air Regulators Witness Almond Harvest, Learn About Challenges - - A dozen regional, state and federal air quality regulators attended the almond industry’s first Almond Harvest Tour, witnessing the three-step harvesting process first-hand and hearing directly from manufacturers and growers. Read More November 2012 California Almonds Outlook 
     

  • Kern County Meeting to Discuss Irrigated Lands Program - - The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board will hold a meeting Nov. 30 near Bakersfield that will include discussions of the eastern San Joaquin River watershed and Tulare Lake Basin waste discharge requirements being developed for discharges from irrigated lands. Read More November 2012 California Almonds Outlook 
     

  • Assembly Rejects Farm Worker Overtime Legislation; Gov. Brown Vetoes Two Ag Heat Bills - - Legislation that would have repealed the long-standing 10-hour daily overtime requirement for agricultural employees was rejected in the state Assembly in September. Read More November 2012 California Almonds Outlook 
     

  • Nov. 16 Deadline for EQIP Fund Applications - - Nov. 16 is the deadline for applying for Fiscal Year 2013 Farm Bill conservation program financial assistance from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Read More November 2012 California Almonds Outlook 
     

  • Gov. Brown Vetoes Two Ag Heat Bills - - Gov. Brown has vetoed two pieces of legislation related to heat regulations for farm workers. Read More  November 2012 California Almonds Outlook 


September/October 2012

  • Improving In-Season Sprays - - Improving the accuracy and efficacy of spray application not only provides improved pest control and ultimately better returns to growers, but it can also reduce environmental impacts by minimizing off-site movement of pesticides. Read More  Sept. 2012 California Almonds Outlook
     

  • Off-road Mobile Agricultural Equipment Regulation Workshop - - The California Air Resources Board (ARB) is holding its first public workshops to discuss the development of the In-Use Self-Propelled Off-road Mobile Agricultural Equipment Regulation (mobile ag regulation). Read More Sept. 2012 California Almonds Outlook   


August 2012

  • Almond Environmental Tour Shows Sustainability in Action - - The Almond Board’s Environmental Stewardship Tour in May provided real-world examples of how almond growers are taking sustainable farming principles and putting them into action. Read More Aug. 2012 California Almonds Outlook
     

  • New Faces at State Water Resources Control Board - -  Gov. Jerry Brown has announced the appointment of Felicia Marcus and Steven Moore to the State Water Resources Control Board. Read More 2012 California Almonds Outlook
     

  • Organic Nitrogen in a Nutrient Management Program  - - California growers face significant scrutiny for their contribution over the years to nitrates in groundwater. Read More Aug. 2012 California Almonds Outlook


July 2012

  • Regional Board Releases First Draft of Expanded Irrigated Lands Program - - The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board is working with individual water quality coalitions to develop regionally specific regulations for an expanded Irrigated Lands Program that will include groundwater monitoring for nitrates, salts and other contaminants.  In May, Regional Board staff released a preliminary draft of its proposed Irrigated Lands Program for the East San Joaquin Water Quality Coalition (ESJWQC), which covers the area east of the San Joaquin River within Madera, Merced, Stanislaus, Tuolumne and Mariposa Counties. It is expected that this first draft will provide a model for additional monitoring and reporting in other water quality coalitions throughout the Central Valley. <more> July 2, 2012 California Almonds Outlook
     

  • Sustainability Program Enters the Digital Age - - The California Almond Sustainability Program may now be accessed online by almond growers who would prefer to fill in workbooks at a place and time of their choosing. This electronic format allows growers to complete any (or all) of the modules — Air Quality, Energy Efficiency, Nutrient Management, Irrigation Management and Pest Management — from a home or office computer rather than by attending a workshop. In addition, one continuing education unit (CEU) is available from the Department of Pesticide Regulation by completing the Pest Management module online. Read More July 2, 2012 California Almonds Outlook 
     

  • Water Board Hearing: Will Ag Have to Pay? - - The State Water Resources Control Board held a hearing in May to gather public input on measures it will recommend to the state Legislature to reduce nitrates and nitrate loading in groundwater, and how to pay for clean drinking water where nitrates exceed the drinking-water standard. Agricultural representatives expressed concern about proposals that ag groups shoulder all the costs and be subject to strict oversight of their nitrogen use. Other groups supported additional fees and taxes on all fertilizer use as the easiest way to provide funding for clean water as well as mandatory outside recommendations for fertilizer applications, similar to the current model for pesticide applications. Read More July 2, 2012 California Almonds Outlook.


June 2012

  • Environmental Tour Shows Off Innovative Almond Growing Practices - - Regulators, elected officials, media and other invited guests got a firsthand look at innovative almond growing practices related to water, nutrient and pest management at the Almond Board of California’s eighth annual Environmental Stewardship Tour on May 11. Read More June 2012 California Almonds
     

  • New Research Improves Almond Nitrogen Management Decisions  - - The latest Almond Board–funded research led by Patrick Brown with the UC Davis Dept. of Plant Sciences offers an updated in-season nutrient budget model that will help growers make management decisions that hit the Four R’s — right rate, right source, right timing and right location. Read More June 2012 California Almonds
     

  • Symposium Details Complexities of Water in California - - A panel of regulators, educators and government authorities offered California Almond growers insight into the complexities of water availability and policy at a Water Symposium titled “Water in California: Present Realities — Future Implications” held in early April. Read More  June 2012 California Almonds


May 2012

  • Lower-Limb Dieback Associated with Early-Season, Wet Soils  - - Research funded by the Almond Board dating back to 2004 indicates lower-limb dieback (LLD) is a syndrome or physiological disorder primarily induced by excessively wet soils early in the season. Work done by almond specialist Bruce Lampinen indicates water management resulting in excessively wet soils in early season is the primary factor causing LLD. Read More May 2012 California Almonds Outlook
     

  • Methyl Iodide Registration Withdrawn in U.S. - - The manufacturer of Midas (methyl iodide), the embattled soil fumigant registered for use in California crops in December 2010 as a potential replacement for methyl bromide, has suspended the sale of all formulations of the product in the U.S. due to market conditions. Read More May 2012 California Almonds Outlook
     

  • Real Farmers, Real Farms - - California farmers are among the most regulated in the U.S., and keeping abreast of various environmental regulations is a big task for growers. At the same time, almond growers often complain that regulators have little understanding about what it takes to grow almonds. Read More May 2012 California Almonds Outlook
     

  • Comments on Nitrate Study Sought at Workshop- - A public workshop to gather comments on possible solutions to the nitrate groundwater contamination issue and how to fund those solutions will be held on May 23 in Sacramento. Read More  May 2012 California Almonds Outlook
     

  • Almond Industry Recognized for Leadership on Nitrogen Management - - The Almond Board’s Bob Curtis was recently invited by the California State Board of Food and Agriculture to give a presentation on nitrogen management in almonds. The board is the policy advisory group to the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). Read More May 2012 California Almonds Outlook
     

  • Sustainably Speaking: Sustainability Program Helps Document Water Use Efficiency - - The State Water Board is facing pressure to mandate that agricultural groups prove they are using water resources in a way that is “beneficial and reasonable.” The Almond Board held a workshop in July to listen to different perspectives on regulating water use. History shows that regulation is more likely in the absence of data. The California Almond Sustainability Program (CASP) helps provide specific documentation that almond growers are using their water and other resources efficiently in California. Read More May 2012 California Almonds Outlook


April 2012

  • Nitrate Levels in Groundwater - - A draft UC Davis report on nitrates in groundwater released March 13 may lead to higher costs and new regulations on nitrogen fertilizers.  The State Water Board commissioned the report in response to mandates from the state legislature that it develop recommendations to address the issue of nitrate contamination in groundwater in the Tulare Lake and Salinas basins. Read More  April 2012 California Almonds Outlook
     

  • Nitrogen Management, Then and Now - - As an industry, we have made significant advances in the last 20 years in nitrogen management. Twenty years ago, the state average yield was 1,200 to 1,300 pounds per acre. Read More April 2012 California Almonds Outlook

March 2012

  • Almond Growers Remain Focused on IPM - - With California Almond growers on the brink of producing a 2-billion-pound crop, UC IPM entomologist Walt Bentley said integrated pest management (IPM) will be a key to continued boosts in productivity while maintaining crop quality. The Almond Board of California (ABC)-funded pest management research has reduced insect-related nut losses statewide even as average yields have doubled over the last two decades. Bentley said growers should continue to focus on IPM as they strive for additional increases in productivity. Read More March California Almonds Outlook
     
  • Air Quality Rules May Limit Use of Popular EC Formulation Pesticides -- The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) is revising its regulations on volatile organic compound (VOC)-emitting pesticides, which could change the crop protection decisions almond growers make in the 2013 crop season. DPR has targeted the use and application of soil fumigants and emulsifiable concentrate (EC) pesticides to reduce VOC emissions in the San Joaquin Valley, thus helping to meet federal ozone air quality standards. Read More March California Almonds Outlook
     
  • Walt Bentley: 34-Year Career Capped by Top Honors - - A long career dedicated to working closely with growers to develop and deliver practical and relevant pest management programs will come to an end for Walt Bentley when he retires this summer. Bentley is widely recognized by his peers and the California Almond industry for his significant contributions to effective and environmentally responsible pest management. Read More California Almonds Outlook

February 2012

  • Government Affairs: California's Water Supply: Challenges and Opportunities for 2012 - - Almond growers will continue to face an ongoing struggle over water supplies appropriated through the Delta, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) relicensing processes, groundwater management regulation and the San Joaquin River settlement. Read More  Feb. 2012 California Almonds Outlook
     

  • A Commitment to Bee Health Research  - - There is still no smoking gun pinpointing the cause of colony collapse disorder (CCD) among the nation’s honey bees, reported Chris Heintz at The Almond Conference in December. In a presentation on Honey Bee Health and Supply, Heintz, who is the Almond Board Bee Task Force liaison, also noted, “Colony losses are not quite as acute as in previous years, mainly as a result of improved management, but overwintering losses still hover around 30%, an unsustainable rate of loss.” Read More Feb. 2012 California Almonds Outlook
     

  • Articles to Highlight Nitrogen in Almonds - - Over the next few months, Western Farm Press magazine will publish a three-part series of articles on nitrogen management in almonds to help almond growers better understand pending regulatory issues and put together an efficient nitrogen fertilizer management program. Read More Feb. 2012 California Almonds Outlook
     

  • Loss of Forage Puts Strain on Beehive Supplies - - Shifting crop patterns in the Midwest are challenging beekeepers’ ability to provide a healthy year-round foraging diet for managed honey bees to pollinate California’s 750,000 acres of almonds.  Read More Feb. 2012 California Almonds Outlook


January 2012

  • Sustainably Speaking: Consumers Are Asking for Sustainability - - Two of the world’s largest food-and-beverage companies told Almond Conference attendees that consumers care about sustainability and want the products they buy to come from companies that share their concern for the future. Read More Jan. 2012 California Almonds Newsletter
     
  • California Almond Sustainability Program Needs Your Story - - The California Almond Sustainability Program needs you to participate in a self-assessment workshop. You are encouraged to document your sustainable farming practices in an effort to increase awareness about the sustainable practices of the California Almond industry. If you have not had the opportunity to participate in a self-assessment workshop, there are workshops scheduled in the near future. Read More Jan. 2012 California Almonds Newsletter
     

  • Pesticide VOCs Increase in 2010 - - Volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from pesticide applications increased in several critical air quality regions in 2010 after two years of decline. Due to sheer acreage, almonds are significant users of seven of the top-10 emulsifiable concentrate (EC) formulation pesticides that contribute to VOCs in the San Joaquin Valley, including chlorpyrifos, bifenthrin, abamectin and oxyfluorfen.  Read More Jan. 2012 California Almonds Newsletter 


December 2011

  • Government Affairs: Federal, State Budget Cuts Will Impact Almond Industry - - Federal and state budget cuts are already affecting the California Almond industry, and more cuts lie ahead. That message was clear from two leading farm policy experts during an agricultural-issues update held Oct. 28 at the Almond Board of California office. Dee Dee D'Adamo, senior policy advisor for Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-Merced), noted that potential federal budget cuts could impact funding for research, USDA's Market Access Program and the Environmental Quality Incentive Program. With the Congressional supercommittee unable to come to an agreement, budget negotiators will continue looking at a wide variety of program cuts.  Read More Dec. 2011 California Almonds Outlook  

     

  • Sustainably Speaking: Technology Links Almond Grower with Sustainable Farming - - When Greg Wegis fires up his iPad from the conference room of Wegis & Young, he has more than 2,000 acres of almonds in the southern San Joaquin Valley at his fingertips. The fourth-generation Kern County family farming operation grows more than 3,000 acres of almonds, pistachios, cherries and tomatoes, and also custom-manages another 16,000 acres of alfalfa and row crops from Blythe to Lake Isabella. Technology allows him to stay on top of what is happening in the field, and also helps members of the family communicate more efficiently with each other and their work force. Read More Dec. 2011 California Almonds Outlook 
     

  • Last Call for Sustainability Workshops in 2011 - - The final workshop of 2011 for the California Almond Sustainability Program (CASP) will be held Dec. 6 in Modesto, just prior to the Opening Reception of The Almond Conference. Growers attending the Conference are urged to take advantage of this opportunity to check off two important events on their to-do list with only one trip. Sustainability workshops are your opportunity to help preserve your future as an almond grower, and at the same time, contribute to the sustainability of the California Almond industry. More participation is needed to present an impressive set of data to buyers and regulators.  Read More Dec. 2011 California Almonds Outlook


November 2011

  • State Water Board Raises Irrigated Lands Permit Fees - - The State Water Resources Control Board voted in September to increase fees by $27.6 million for all water quality permit holders in California. The fee increases are intended to fill gaps in the state budget by shifting the cost for regulatory programs, such as the Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program (ILRP), from taxpayers to permit fee payers.  Read More Nov.2011 California Almonds Newsletter
     

  • Sustainably Speaking: Sustainability Program Aims to Increase Grower Participation in 2012 - - The Almond Board of California has set forth an ambitious goal in 2012 to triple participation in the California Almond Sustainability Program to 600 growers through workshop attendance and completion of the five sustainability modules. Read More Nov.2011 California Almonds Newsletter


October 2011

  • Sustainably Speaking: Almond  Sustainability Program Aims to Increase Grower Participation in 2012- - The California Almond Sustainability Program (CASP) has set forth an ambitious goal for 2012 to triple grower participation in the program to 600 through workshop attendance and completion of the five sustainability modules. Read More October California Almonds Newsletter


September 2011

  • Sustainably Speaking: Sustainability Program Helps Document Water Use Efficiency - - The State Water Board is facing pressure to mandate that agricultural groups prove they are using water resources in a way that is “beneficial and reasonable.” The Almond Board held a workshop in July to listen to different perspectives on regulating water use. History shows that regulation is more likely in the absence of data.  The California Almond Sustainability Program (CASP) helps provide specific documentation that almond growers are using their water and other resources efficiently in California. Read More Sept. 2011 California Almonds Newsletter
     

  • More Funds Available for Air, Water Quality Improvement - - The Natural Resources Conservation Service announced it has received an additional $9.5 million to fund air and water quality and water conservation cost-share programs through its Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). The additional funding announced in July adds to the nearly $60 million NRCS has already obligated for 2011–12 in EQIP conservation contracts. About $5 million is earmarked for EQIP air quality practices to help reduce ozone precursors in the San Joaquin Valley, primarily for replacing old diesel engines with engines that run 75% cleaner. Another $4.5 million will fund EQIP programs in the San Joaquin Valley for increasing irrigation system efficiency and managing dairy waste. Read More Sept. 2011 California Almonds Newsletter
     

  • Almond Industry Takes Its Messages to the Nation’s Capitol - - In July, California Almond industry members and Almond Board staff were in Washington, D.C., for a number of meetings with government agencies and industry alliances. The purpose of the trip was to update stakeholders on key almond industry production and market development issues. The delegation also participated in the annual U.S. Agricultural Export Development Council (USAEDC) conference. Read More Sept. 2011 California Almonds Newsletter


August 2011

  • Sustainably Speaking : Sustainability Program – Pointless Paperwork or Production and Marketing Tool? - - The Almond Board of California Sustainability Program is gathering steam as a blitz of workshops in June and July added valuable data to bolster California Almonds’ standing in the eyes of buyers and sharpened growers’ understanding of how the program works and what constitutes a sustainable practice. Read More August 2011 California Almonds Newsletter


July 2011

  • Environmental Stewardship Tour Demonstrates Complexities of Sustainable Almond Farming - - The Almond Board's Environmental Stewardship Tour in May illustrated to regulators, public policy makers and the media how California Almond growers have shifted production practices over time to address environmental issues while improving profitability. Read More  July 2011 California Almonds Newsletter
     

  • Ag Water Use Efficiency Workshop Set for July 20 - - A workshop looking at the current trends and conditions of agricultural water use efficiency will be held by the State Water Resources Control Board on July 20 in Sacramento. The informal workshop will include presentations and panels of experts and practitioners exploring the state of California’s agricultural water use efficiency and the outlook for greater efficiency.  Read More  July 2011 California Almonds Newsletter
     

  • Environmental Research Focuses on Environment, Community and Profitability - - The Almond Board of California Environmental Committee continues to fund long-term and new research into sustainable almond practices that are economical, environmentally friendly and present California Almond growers as good neighbors to their communities.  Read More  July 2011 California Almonds Newsletter
     

  • Sustainably Speaking: Are “Sustainable” and “Organic” the Same? - - Sustainability and organic almond production are sometimes confused, according to a recent survey of almond growers. But while they are occasionally interchanged, the terms organic and sustainable are not the same.  Read More  July 2011 California Almonds Newsletter
     

  • New Groundwater Regulations Take Next Step - - Groundwater regulations for Central Valley agriculture came one step closer to reality on June 9, when the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board approved a two-year extension for the existing Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program.  Read More  July 2011 California Almonds Newsletter 


 

June 2011

  • Research Sheds Light on PM-10 Dust Emissions from Harvest - - Almond Board of California has submitted a report to California air quality agencies, suggesting they can reduce the baseline PM-10 dust emission factor from almond harvest by about 30%. The report relies on data gleaned from seven years of PM-10 harvest dust research funded by the Almond Board. Read More June 2011 California Almonds Newsletter
     

  • Almond Orchard Replant: Part III — Fumigation: Regulatory Hurdles Surround Replant Fumigation Decisions - - Soil fumigation is often a major investment when replanting an almond orchard. It is important to first identify whether fumigation is necessary by assessing soil samples and orchard history. Based on that assessment, a grower or PCA can determine whether to fumigate and which compound(s) work best for the specific situation. Read More June 2011 California Almonds Newsletter
     

  • Sustainably Speaking: Telling the Almond Sustainability Story to Our Target Market - - Recently, the Washington Post devoted six pages of its Food section to a report on the conference “The Future of Food,” held in Washington, D.C., in May. Citing speakers that included Prince Charles of Wales, Wendell Berry, Eric Schlosser and Marion Nestle, the articles suggested fundamental change is needed in how food is grown and processed, claiming that the current system is hurtful to the environment and to people. Read More June 2011 California Almonds Newsletter
     

  • EPA Proposes to Revoke Tolerances for Three Insecticides - - In early May, the EPA published a proposal to revoke tolerances for three insecticides used on almonds. The proposal allows existing stocks of Thiodan (endosulfan) to be used until July 31, 2012, after which the current tolerances for almonds and almond hulls would be revoked. Read More June 2011 California Almonds Newsletter


May 2011

  • Regional Water Board Delays Vote on Revised Irrigated Lands Program- - After hearing nearly 12 hours of testimony at a public meeting in Sacramento on April 7, the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board delayed until June a vote on a new regulatory framework for the Long-Term Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program. Read More May 2011 California Almonds Newsletter
     

  • Growers Find Sustainability Workshops Stimulate New Ideas About Their Own Practices -    - Growers attending the Almond Board’s California Almond Sustainability Program (CASP) workshops this spring said that participating in sustainability modules not only confirmed that they are already implementing many sustainable practices in the orchard, but also helped trigger ideas about what they could do to improve their growing operations. Read More May 2011 California Almonds Newsletter
     

  • Almond Board Holds Ag Policy and Legislative Briefing - - As part of an ongoing effort to provide a forum for industry members to learn more about legislative and regulatory issues of concern, the Almond Board of California (ABC) initiated a series of ag policy and legislative briefings. The first briefing, on March 15, featured state and federal updates from Dee Dee D’Adamo, senior policy adviser to Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-Merced), and Jim Collin, chief consultant, State Assembly Agricultural Committee. Read More May 2011 California Almonds Newsletter


April 2011

  • Sustainably Speaking: CASP Includes New Pest Management Module - - With the addition of the newly developed Pest Management Module, the California Almond Sustainability Program now covers five areas of sustainable almond production: Irrigation, Nutrient Management, Air Quality, Energy Efficiency and Pest Management. Read More   April 2011 California Almonds Newsletter
     

  • Government Affairs: Proposal to Cancel ProFume Uses - - In January, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a proposal to cancel all U.S. tolerances of the postharvest fumigant sulfuryl fluoride (ProFume), which would end its use in the U.S. EPA recently lowered the acceptable maximum exposure to fluoride. Read More  April 2011 California Almonds Newsletter
     

  • Reporting Deadline Extended for Agricultural Fleets Under Air Resources Board (ARB) Truck Rule Read More  April 2011 California Almonds Newsletter
     

  • Public Hearings to Discuss Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program  Read More  April 2011 California Almonds Newsletter


March 2011

  • Sustainably Speaking: Word Spreading About Almond Sustainability - - The Almond Board of California (ABC) is spreading the word about the California Almond Sustainability Program (CASP) to marketers, regulators, researchers, growers and others with an interest in sustainable food production. Read More March 2011 California Almonds Newsletter
     

  • Almonds' Economic Clout Touted at USDA Forum - - The California Almond industry provides a tremendous boost to California’s economy, especially in the hard-hit Central Valley region, said former Almond Board of California Chairman Dave Phippen at an economic development forum held Feb. 7 in Modesto. The forum was co-hosted by the Almond Board and conducted by USDA Rural Development State Director Dr. Glenda Humiston. Read More March 2011 California Almonds Newsletter
     

  • Government Affairs: Friendly Faces in Important Places - -  Karen Ross has been appointed secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture by Gov. Jerry Brown. She’s a familiar face to California agriculture, having been president of the California Association of Winegrape Growers from 1996 to 2009, and was the vice president of government relations for the Agricultural Council of California from 1989 to 1996. Read More March 2011 California Almonds Newsletter
     

  • Grower-Funded Research Now Online - - The California Almond industry has a long history of seeking out better, more efficient, more economical and ultimately more sustainable methods of producing healthy, delicious, safe California Almonds. Read More March 2011 California Almonds Newsletter


February 2011

  • Going Solar: How to Make It Pay - - Saving on energy bills is an attractive payback for the investment in a solar energy system. But what will it cost, how can you pay for it, and how long will it take to attain a return on the investment? Read More February 2011 California Almonds Newsletter
     

  • Sustainably Speaking: Energy and Air Quality Modules Added - - The California Almond Sustainability Program will now include two new self-assessment modules focused on energy management and air quality. Read More February 2011 California Almonds Newsletter
     

  • Government Affairs: New Year Brings New Food Safety Regulations - - President Obama signed into law the long-anticipated Food Safety Modernization Act, intended to help modernize food safety by increasing FDA inspections of high-risk facilities, providing FDA faster access to company records during recalls, improving traceability and giving FDA mandatory-recall authority. Read More February 2011 California Almonds Newsletter


January 2011

  • Sustainably Speaking: Growers and Handlers Find Green in Going Green - - The rising cost of energy combined with incentive programs is making “going green” more appealing to California Almond growers and handlers, according to panelists at the Almond Industry Conference symposium on “Saving Green by Going Green.” Read More January 2011 California Almonds Newsletter  


December 2010

  • Sustainably Speaking: Sustainability Workshops to Include Air Quality, Energy and Pest Management - - The Almond Board of California (ABC), with funding assistance from a recent USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant, is developing additional self-assessment modules for the California Almond Sustainability Program on air quality, energy efficiency and pest management. Read More December 2010 California Almonds Newsletter  
     

  • Manage Sediment Runoff in Vulnerable Orchards This Winter - - With winter rains coming, almond growers should take steps to avoid sediment runoff that might find its way into nearby surface waterways, according to Gabriele Ludwig, Almond Board of California (ABC).Read More December 2010 California Almonds Newsletter
     

  • Sustainability Trends Begin to Emerge from Self-Assessment Modules - - The Almond Board of California (ABC) has held 10 self-assessment workshops that are providing valuable data on sustainable nutrient and irrigation management practices within the industry. Read More December 2010 California Almonds Newsletter 
     

  • New Air District Incentive Program Helps Fund Ag Tractor Replacement - - The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District is offering incentive grant funds to help growers comply with pending air quality requirements for ag tractors. December 2010 California Almonds Newsletter Read More


October/November 2010 Newsletter

  • Sustainably Speaking: Almond Grower Finds Benefits to Sustainability Program - - When Chuck Dirkse of La Mancha Orchards in Denair first heard about the California Almond Sustainability Program (CASP), he says his first reaction was, “Oh, great, more paperwork.” Read More October 2010 California Almonds Newsletter
     

  • Air Quality Workshops Help Growers Navigate New Air Quality Permitting Requirements - - The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District this year changed its ozone attainment status to ‘extreme.’ Read More October California Almonds Newsletter


September 2010 Newsletter

  • Growers Encouraged to Attend Public Workshops on Expanded Irrigated Lands Program  - - The Central Valley Regional Board will hold a series of public workshops to solicit comment on a proposed Long-Term Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program. Read More September 2010 California Almonds  Outlook
     
  • Sediment Runoff a Priority Issue - - Almond growers attended a meeting in August of the East San Joaquin Water Quality Coalition to address sediment management in almond orchards in the lower Sierra foothills. Read More September 2010 California Almonds  Outlook
     
  • Changing the Conversation About California Agriculture  - - The Almond Board of California (ABC) encourages industry members to consider becoming engaged in a voluntary effort that is dedicated to changing the conversation about California agriculture. Read More September 2010 California Almonds  Outlook

August 2010 Newsletter

  • Dust Control Strategies at Harvest - - - With harvest fast approaching, there are simple actions almond growers or their custom harvesters can implement to reduce dust from harvest activities. Read More Aug. 2010 Outlook


July 2010 Newsletter

  • Almond Industry Hosts Regulators for 2010 Environmental Stewardship Tour - - The sixth annual Almond Environmental Stewardship Tour in mid-May provided an opportunity for almond growers, regulators and industry leaders to come together and demonstrate what the industry is doing to be good environmental stewards and good almond growers. Read More July 2010 California Almonds
     

  • Sustainably Speaking: Growers Attend Sustainability  - - Workshops throughout Central Valley Almond growers are attending California Almond Sustainability Program workshops up and down the Central Valley to participate in a sustainability self-assessment module on irrigation and nutrient management. Read More July 2010 California Almonds
     

  • Government Affairs: DPR Proposes to Register Methyl Iodide - - In late April, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) proposed to register methyl iodide—a soil fumigant that serves as an alternative to methyl bromide. Read More  July 2010 California Almonds


June 2010 Newsletter

  • Burn Ban on Prunings in Effect- - Almond growers in the San Joaquin Valley as of June 1 can no longer burn almond orchard prunings under the latest phase-out for burning ag materials. Read More  June 2010 California Almonds Newsletter
     

  • Sustainably Speaking: Self-Assessment Helps Growers Improve Efficiency - - California almond growers participating in a number of workshops throughout the Central Valley are finding the California Almond Sustainability Program self-assessment is a useful tool for setting benchmarks for their production practices on the spectrum of sustainability practices. Read More June 2010 California Almonds Newsletter


May 2010 Newsletter

  • Report Shows Growers Succeed in Reducing Fumigant VOC Emissions - - The Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) announced that pesticide VOC emissions dropped in 2008 by 30% from 1990 levels. Read More May 4, 2010 California Amonds Newsletter
     
  • Sustainably Speaking: What Is a Self-Assessment? - - Self-assessment is the cornerstone of the California Almond Sustainability Program, providing California Almond growers with the ability to voluntarily document and quantify sustainable almond growing practices. Read More  May 4, 2010 California Amonds Newsletter

April 2010 Newsletter

  • Almond Handlers Convert to "Green" Power as Renewable Alternative to Fossil Fuels - - California Almond handlers are investing in renewable energy as climate change legislation, market forces and customer demand are driving an interest in sustainable alternatives to traditional fossil fuel energy. Read More April 2, 2010 California Almonds Newsletter
     

  • Sustainably Speaking: Retailers Request Sustainable Practices  - - When visiting with leading food companies around the world to encourage the use of California Almonds in their products, Almond Board of California staff members have noticed a rising trend: More and more frequently ABC is asked about the sustainability aspects of almond growing in California. Read More April 2, 2010 California Almonds Newsletter
     

  • VOC Calculator - -The Department of Pesticide Regulation has created a free online VOC emissions calculator to help growers and PCAs determine the VOC emissions associated with a specific non-fumigant pesticide application or formulation. In 2008, DPR enacted new rules on soil fumigant use and a cap on pesticide VOC emissions in order to meet requirements to reduce VOC emissions from pesticides in the San Joaquin Valley. The calculator can be accessed here.  April 2, 2010 California Almonds Newsletter
     

  • First Results from New Drought Research - - A drought management research project funded by the Almond Board is being conducted at the Nickels Soil Lab in Arbuckle. Lead researcher is Ken Shackel, UC-Davis, who gave a first-season update on the project at the Almond Industry Conference in December. Long-term tree responses to different irrigation levels, various canopy reduction scenarios and actual almond water requirements for survival are being investigated in a 20-year-old orchard where the soil is gravelly and shallow. Treatments were imposed for 2009 only, and the carryover effects on tree growth, tree survival, bloom, and yield will be determined for an additional period of two to four years. Read More April 2, 2010 California Almonds Newsletter


March 2010 Newsletter

  • Climate Change, Part III Cap-and-Trade Proposal: Impact on Handlers - - Agriculture has not paid much attention to the development of the recently released cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) proposed by the California Air Resources Board because production agriculture is exempted. However, food processing facilities, including almond handlers, are not exempted if their facility includes a form of stationary combustion such as a natural gas dryer. Read More March 2010 California Almonds
     

  • Sustainably Speaking - - Today the concept of "sustainability" is being used to evaluate everything from restaurant menus to public policies to how companies demonstrate performance to stockholders. Increasingly, the California Almond community is also being asked—and is asking questions about—sustainability. Read More March 2010 California Almonds


Feb. 2010 Newsletter

  • Speak Up - -  By Dave Baker, Chairman, Environmental Committee - -  I am hearing from growers worried about California Air Resources Board plans to enact new air quality rules for farm equipment motors by the end of the year that will affect almond growers of all sizes throughout the state. Read More Feb. 2010 California Almonds Newsletter
     

  • Cap-and-Trade: What's in it for the Almond Industry?  - - USDA Secretary Vilsack has been trumpeting that a cap-and-trade system will be a boon to U.S. agriculture, while almond growers are wondering why they can't get credit for growing trees if urban trees and forests can. Read More Feb. 2010 California Almonds Newsletter
     

  • Diesel Engine Cost-Sharing Funds Available - - The California Air Resources Board (CARB) plans to issue a rule by the end of 2010 that will require the replacement or retrofitting of older diesel motors in ag equipment such as tractors, harvesters, self-propelled spray rigs, forklifts and ATVs with cleaner burning motors. Read More Feb. 2010 California Almonds Newsletter
     

  • California Almond Sustainability Program: A Role for Handlers - - Have buyers asked you questions relating to the sustainable production of the almonds you are selling? Have you been frustrated at how the media or certain groups depict almonds or U.S. agriculture? The Environmental Committee at ABC has initiated the California Almond Sustainability Program to provide credible information to respond.  <more> Feb. 12, 2010  The Handle


Jan. 2010 Newsletter

  • Why Sustainability? ABC's Sustainability Self-Assessment Program Discussed - -  The latest step in the Almond Board's industrywide sustainability initiative is a self-assessment program designed to inventory actual practices in the orchard. Read More Jan. 2010 California Almonds Newsletter
     

  • Climate Change, Part 1: What Does Greenhouse Gas Regulation Mean for California Almonds? - - With international leaders meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark, recently to discuss climate change, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency exerting pressure on Congress to address greenhouse gases in national legislation, climate change is likely to reach national prominence in 2010. Read More Jan. 2010 California Almonds Newsletter
     

  • Increasingly Complex Legislative, Regulatory Landscape Forecast- -  A California legislative panel consisting of Jim Collin, chief consultant to the Assembly Ag Committee; Tom Bohigian, Sen. Barbara Boxer's state director; and Kimberly Kauffman, field rep for Congressman George Radanovich, provided attendees at the Almond Industry Conference with an update on current key issues. Read More Jan. 2010 California Almonds Newsletter
     

  • EQIP Deadline for Priority 2010 Funding Is Jan. 15  - - The USDA NRCS is now accepting applications through Jan. 15 for its popular EQIP cost-share program for technical and financial assistance to implement environmentally friendly production practices. Read More Jan. 2010 California Almonds Newsletter


Dec. 2009 Newsletter

  • Growers Encouraged to Participate in Ag Equipment Survey - - A statewide coalition of agricultural groups is collecting confidential information from growers to ensure that the California Air Resources Board incorporates real data as it develops new air quality rules for farm equipment. Read More Dec. 2009 California Almonds Newsletter

Nov. 2009 Newsletter

  • Next Deadline for Ag Motors in SJV - -  Growers in the eight-county San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District have until January 2010 to replace older, high-polluting, Tier 0 diesel engines greater than 50 hp with EPA-certified Tier 3 or Tier 4 engines. <more>  Nov. 2009 California Almonds Newsletter
     

  • Feds Address California Water Crisis  - - The federal government said it is calling for a coordinated federal effort and review of the science surrounding environmental protections that have severely crimped California's water supply. <more> Nov. 2009 California Almonds Newsletter
     

  • Government Affairs: Greenhouse Gas Legislation - What Is Going On?  - - While Congress and EPA are still grappling with a national greenhouse gas reduction strategy, California is already in the midst of implementing a more stringent reduction in greenhouse gases than any of the current Congressional proposals. <more>  Nov. 2009 California Almonds Newsletter
     

  • Endangered Species Act Drives New Restrictions on Pesticides  - - The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in September announced new rules on the use of three organophosphate pesticides—chlorpyrifos (Lorsban), diazinon and malathion—to protect endangered salmon and steelhead in western states. <more>  Nov. 2009 California Almonds Newsletter


Oct. 2009 Newsletter

  • EPA Issues New Fumigant Application Requirements - - The U.S. EPA in May released a new set of safety measures designed to minimize the risk of worker and bystander exposure to applied soil fumigants. Some of these new rules will show up on 2010 labels for almond orchard fumigants, including methyl bromide (MB) and chloropicrin (Pic). The new rules are in addition to, or conflict with, current air quality application restrictions on soil fumigants in the San Joaquin Valley. <more> Oct. 2009 California Almonds Newsletter

  • Almond Pest Management Courses November 4-5 - - The Almond Pest Management Alliance is sponsoring a one-day almond pest management training event at two locations this fall. The first will be at the University of California Kearney Research and Extension Center in Parlier on Nov. 4, and the second will be at the UC Cooperative Extension San Joaquin County Office in Stockton on Nov. 5.  <more> Oct. 2009 California Almonds Newsletter


Sept. 2009 Newsletter

  • Managing Post-Harvest Pests in Facilities  - - With almond harvest season under way, it's time to think about post-harvest pest management and IPM practices for controlling pests in almond stockpiles and storage facilities. <more> Sept. 2009 California Almonds Newsletter
     

  • Growers Invited to Share Comments on  Pesticide VOCs at September 28 Public Meeting - - The Department of Pesticide Regulation and Air Resources Board are holding a joint meeting to discuss smog-forming VOC emissions from pesticides in the San Joaquin Valley on September 28 in Modesto. The meeting, open to the public, will be held at the Stanislaus County Ag Commissioner's Office in Modesto at 5 p.m. <more> Sept. 2009 California Almonds Newsletter


July/August 2009 Newsletter

  • New NRCS Air-Quality Incentives Target Polluting Farm Equipment - - The USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service for the first time will provide cost-share opportunities for growers to replace, retrofit or repower older polluting mobile engines and farm equipment as part of a new round of initiatives targeting air quality emissions in troubled air basins.<more> July/August 2009 California Almonds Newsletter
     
  • Dealing with Dust - - by Environmental Committee Chairman Dave Baker - - The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District is crediting the long-term dust-reduction efforts of production agriculture with helping bring the San Joaquin Valley air basin in compliance with federal PM10 standards. <more> July/August 2009 California Almonds Newsletter
     

  • Pre-Harvest Checklist: Managing the Orchard Floor - - Managing the orchard floor prior to harvest can help harvest run more smoothly and reduce food safety risks from microbial contamination in the orchard, according to UCCE Farm Advisor Joe Connell. Connell offers the following tips for preparing the orchard floor during summer months for harvest: <more> July/August 2009 California Almonds Newsletter


June 2009 Newsletter

  • Almond growers call NRCS conservation planning process a “win-win” - - Grower Darrell Cordova first visited the USDA's Natural Resource Conservation Service office in Modesto several years ago looking for financial assistance with conservation tillage in open ground.  Cordova, who farms 800 acres of almonds and grain near Denair, has since used program funds from NRCS to offset the cost of weed control technology that has greatly reduced the amount of herbicides he applied on his 200 acres of young almonds, and has also applied for technical and financial support of strategies to reduce the cost and environmental impact of his insect and fertility management programs. <more> June 2009 California Almonds Newsletter
     

  • Court ruling adds new permitting requirements for pesticide applications - - Agricultural groups are scrambling to make sense of a federal court ruling that may require additional permits for anyone making pesticide applications in, over, or near a body of water. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in January overturned a 2006 ruling by the U.S. EPA that pesticide applications were exempt from National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit requirements under the Clean Water Act. <more> June 2009 California Almonds Newsletter
     

  • Almond growers planning soil fumigations face challenging year - - Almond growers expecting  to replant orchards this season should plan ahead as regulatory and economic conditions are putting pressure on the price and availability of soil fumigants. There is a restricted supply of soil fumigants available this year for almonds. Methyl bromide has become a limited and expensive option for protecting against replant disorder, nematodes and other problems associated with orchard replanting. <more> June 2009 California Almonds Newsletter


May 2009 Newsletter

  • Start Process of Applying for EQIP Funds Now - - Nearly $38 million in NRCS Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) funds have been authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill to help growers implement conservation practices related to reducing erosion, improving water use efficiency, and protecting air and water quality. <more> May 2009 California Almonds Newsletter
     

  • Last Year for Guthion - - This summer marks the last time California almond growers will be able to use Guthion (azinphos-methyl or AZM) on their crop under terms of the EPA phase-out of the organophosphate.   As of Oct. 31, 2009, Guthion can no longer be used on almonds. Its use in nut crops has been limited under the phase-out to existing stockpiles. Applications can only be made in June, July or August and with specific mitigation requirements for nearby waterways and applicator exposure. May 2009 California Almonds Newsletter
     

  • Almond Growers Get Help for Coping with Drought - -  Three meetings were held throughout almond growing regions in California in recent months to help growers deal with a severely restricted water supply. Speakers urged caution with dramatic measures, such as severe pruning, crop thinning and early crop removal, which might have long-term impacts on almond tree survival and yield beyond the current season. <more> May 2009 California Almonds Newsletter


April 2009 Newsletter

  • Environmental stewardship tour highlights efficiency - - More than 25 regulators and media members were among the nearly 100 invited guests who attended the Almond Board’s annual Environmental Stewardship Spring Tour on a beautiful bloom day in March to learn the steps almond growers are taking to address environmental issues in their farming operations. The spring tour at Quinn River Ranch in Waterford highlighted several new and emerging technologies grower Sharon Naraghi and farm manager Bavaro Farming Co. are utilizing to ensure that inputs are applied judiciously and with minimal impact on air, soil and water quality. <more>   April 2009 California Almonds Newsletter

     


March 2009 Newsletter

  • Air Board meetings to address regulations, loans - - The Air Resources Board staff is holding three informational sessions on the new Voucher Incentive Program, the new AB 118 Providing Loan Assistance for California Equipment (PLACE) program, and regulations affecting on-road heavy-duty vehicles in California. <more> March 2009 California Almonds Newsletter
     

  • Help with VOC emissions - - ABC is participating with the California Department of Pesticide Regulation, USDA-NRCS and UC Extension on a collaborative project to educate PCAs and growers on pest control options that reduce VOC emissions from pesticides used in nut and tree fruit orchards in the San Joaquin Valley. The project, funded by a grant from U.S. EPA, will focus on developing a VOC calculator, and outreach and education on VOC emissions. The project will also focus on techniques to reduce water contamination. March 2009 California Almonds Newsletter

Feb. 2009 Newsletter

  • Greenhouse gas scoping plan passed  - - The California Air Resources Board (ARB), in mid-December, passed the scoping plan for reducing emissions that contribute to global warming. The scope is likely to lead to significant price increases for any business or individual who relies on fossil-fuel–derived power. The scoping plan provides a road map for ARB to comply with AB32, the first state legislation to address climate change, which calls for a reduction in statewide greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 to 1990 levels. <more> Feb. 2009 California Almonds
     

  • More with less? - - CALIFORNIA ALMONDS concludes its series on recent studies likely to play a role in future water policy and infrastructure decisions with a look at perhaps the most controversial study related to agricultural water use and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. A study released in September 2008 by the Pacific Institute of Oakland, a think-tank emphasizing environmental issues, focuses on reducing agricultural water usage in California. <more> Feb. 2009 California Almonds


Jan. 2009 Newsletter

  • Sustainability: Responding to Consumer Demand - - The role of growers in shaping and responding to consumer demand took center stage at the 36th annual Almond Industry Conference as a diverse group of speakers discussed the future of sustainability and traceability in almonds and how "What Happens in the Orchard Affects the Shelf." Almond Board President Richard Waycott said that what growers do to make almonds the "crop of choice" among regulators, legislators, suppliers and researchers has an impact on making almonds the "nut of choice" among retail buyers, manufacturers and consumers. "Everything is interconnected, and what you do as a grower matters," Waycott said. <more> Jan. 2009 California Almonds
     

  • Air Board Passes New Rules for on-road Diesel trucks - - The California Air  Resources Board on Dec. 12 passed its long-awaited new rules for on-road heavy-duty diesel trucks that will require retrofit or replacement of nearly the entire fleet of long-haul trucks that travel in California. The rules were established to help bring California in line with Clean Air Act requirements for air pollutants including particulate matter and NOx emissions, and to reduce diesel soot, which California considers a toxic air contaminant. In a nutshell, the regulation requires all trucks and buses operated within the state of California with a gross vehicle weight ratio more than 14,000 pounds comply with 2010 engine standards for PM10 and NOx emissions within the next 14 years. "In the short term you will have to have a soot trap filter in place and in the long term the new rules will require replacing diesel engines with a newer, cleaner burning engine. When you have to get this done depends on the age of the motor," said ABC's Gabriele Ludwig. <more> Jan. 2009 California Almonds
     
  • DPR  Issues Revised VOC Rules for Public Comment  - - The California Department of Pesticide Regulation has released a revised draft of its rules to reduce volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from pesticides that may give San Joaquin Valley almond growers more latitude to fumigate replanted orchards. While the new draft increases the pesticide VOC emissions cap during the peak ozone period from May 1 through Oct. 31, SJV growers during that time period will continue to be confined to lower emissions soil fumigant application methods and other restrictions that may impact the efficacy of those fumigations. In response to a 2006 federal court order, DPR enacted a set of regulations on the use of VOC-emitting pesticides, notably soil fumigants and emulsifiable concentrate (EC) pesticides that severely restrict application methods, timing and volume of all commonly used fumigants during the peak ozone period from May 1 to Oct. 31 in the San Joaquin Valley. The new rules went into effect January 2008. <more> Jan. 2009 California Almonds  


Dec. 2008 Newsletter

  • Delta Vision: Dual conveyance  read more
  • Orchard replant field day offers insights on soil fumigants. read more
  • Meeting regulatory challenges. read more

Nov. 2008 Newsletter

  • Jury verdict against dealer/applicator raises liability concerns about pesticide volatilization drift. read more
  • Dormant spray alternatives. read more
  • Environmental issues to be featured at Almond Board annual conference. read more

  • Water studies abound. read more


 Sept/Oct 2008 Newsletter

  • SIGN-UPS BEING ACCEPTED FOR CALIFORNIA EQIP FUNDS FOR 2009
    CALIFORNIA ALMOND GROWERS should act now to secure technical and financial assistance for integrating conservation practices into their operations and facilities in 2009. read more

  • SJV GROWERS FACE JAN. 1 DEADLINE FOR NEW RULES ON INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINES
    SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY almond growers have until Jan. 1, 2009, to meet new emissions requirements for gas-powered irrigation pump engines. read more


July/Aug 2008 Newsletter


 

May 2008 Newsletter

  • Survey of Target Almond Consumers Reveals Global Interest in Sustainabilitythumbnail of image 2

    Consumer surveys in major markets for California almonds show that target consumers are becoming more sophisticated about how the products they eat are grown and appear willing to pay more for sustainably grown food. In Western Europe, where over half of all California almonds are exported annually, more than 80 percent of so-called "Jane" consumers say it is important to them that farms practice sustainability when producing the food and drink they consume. The 27-member states of the EU represent the world's second largest market for almonds. <more>
     

  • Soil Fumigants Rules Likely to Tighten

    Just months after the California Department of Pesticide Regulation enacted new soil fumigant rules, regulators are now saying that restricting the timing and application methods of soil fumigations may not be enough to meet air quality mandates for volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, in the San Joaquin Valley. In January, DPR rolled out regulations on soil fumigants for regions of the state with the dirtiest air in an effort to curb pesticide emissions of smog-forming VOCs during the peak ozone period from May 1 to Oct. 31. The rules limit soil fumigations and application methods during that time to lower emissions. <more>

     

 


 

April 2008 Newsletter

Environmental Stewardship Success: Almond Board Shares Success with Regulatorsthumbnail of image 1

State and federal regulators had high praise for almond industry efforts to address environmental issues during the Almond Board of California’s fourth annual Environmental Stewardship Tour on Feb. 22. More than 30 regulators, media members, and local dignitaries saw first-hand what growers and handlers, like tour host Braden Farms, are doing on a voluntary basis to address endangered species, air and water quality, reduced-risk pest management, and other environmental issue. <more>

 

Almond Industry Explores Sustainability

It seems everybody is claiming that their products are “sustainable” or “green” nowadays. But what exactly is sustainability and what does it mean to California almond growers? Sustainability is about ensuring the health of a particular industry or company while also ensuring the health of the environment and local community. With the help of Dr. Keith Warner, Director of the Faith, Ethics & Vocation Project at Santa Clara University’s Environmental Studies Institute, the Almond Board has created a working definition of sustainable almond farming. That definition was developed based on input from focus groups of almond farmers, PCAs, farm advisors and handlers, all of whom unanimously agreed that the almond industry should continue to pursue the concept of sustainability. <more>


March 2008 Newsletter

New Soil Fumigant Rules for Almond Orchard Replants

The Department of Pesticide Regulation, as of Jan. 25, has placed new restrictions on soil fumigant applications that will impact almond growers planning to do orchard replant fumigations in the San Joaquin Valley from May to November. The new rules apply to the San Joaquin Valley and other areas of the state with poor air quality as part of DPR’s effort to curb emissions of smog forming volatile organic compounds (VOCs) during the peak ozone period from May 1 to Oct. 31. <more>

 

DPR Recognizes Almond Industry’s Environmental Commitment

The agency that regulates pesticide use in California has recognized the almond industry’s commitment to environmentally friendly crop production by declaring it an “IPM Innovator” and awarding a new grant to revive the successful Almond Pest Management Alliance Project. “The almond industry has always been a leader in developing and using environmentally sound, sustainable crop production practices, and DPR’s latest IPM Innovator Award and new Pest Management Alliance grant reflect that commitment,” said the Almond Board’s Gabriele Ludwig. <more>


January 2008 Newsletter

State's Water Woes

Irrigation water is likely to be a scarce commodity for many growers this year. According to a panel of water experts at an ABC-sponsored water seminar in November, growers are facing several issues that will limit deliveries for 2008 and beyond. <more>

Environmental Regulations Facing the Industry

The impact of environmental issues on the California almond industry continues to expand, said researchers, government officials, industry members and environmental advocates attending the ABC’s annual conference. A panel discussion on environmental regulatory issues highlighted how the latest regulations are likely to have profound effects on the future of almond production. <more>

Sustainability Takes Stage at Almond Industry Conference

Sustainable production practices can help the almond industry distinguish itself as the crop of choice among consumers and regulators, experts told attendees of the annual Almond Industry Conference in December. During a presentation on Targeting Sustainability, panelists shared perspectives and experiences about what it means to incorporate sustainability into commercial production and what steps growers can take to get there. <more>


December 2007 Newsletter


November 2007 Newsletter


Sept/Oct 2007 Newsletter


July/August 2007 Newsletter


June 2007 Newsletter


May 2007 Newsletter

 

April 2007 Newsletter

 

 


Winter 2007 Newsletter

  • Grower Takes Simple Steps to Reduce Spray Drift - - As water and air quality issues continue to focus scrutiny on how pesticides are applied, Kerman farmer Paul Toste is among the state’s almond growers taking simple steps to keep those sprays within the targeted orchard canopy. Toste, a Kerman area veterinarian who took over the family’s 400-acre almond orchard in 2004, has been working since to improve the efficiency and sustainability of his orchard. He reduces air quality impacts of his farming operation by maintaining a no-till floor and converting older diesel engine pumps to electric powered pumps or newer, low-emission diesel engines. He is also addressing water quality issues by working to reduce the offsite movement of applied pesticides. Toste says one of the simplest things he does to keep applied pesticides in the orchard canopy is to tune up and calibrate his air blast sprayer prior to each application. <more> March 2007 Almond Newsletter
     

  • Tips to Reduce Offsite Movement of Pesticides -  -Stewardship through the use of Best Management Practices (BMPs) are aimed at minimizing off-site movement to waterways and sensitive sites.  These practices, when followed with product label directions, can provide growers and applicators the necessary tools to complete a successful spray application while minimizing potential environmental impacts. <more> March 2007 Newsletter
     

  • Panel Urges Growers to Stay Involved in Environmental Issues - - Environmental issues ranging from groundwater monitoring to air quality and food safety will top legislative and regulatory agendas and continue to remain high on the minds of consumers in 2007, according to a panel of experts speaking at the Almond Board Conference in December. Panelists said almond farmers must be involved at all levels, from how their products are marketed, to holding their legislators and regulators accountable to be sure science prevails above uninformed reaction when it comes to environmental laws and regulations. State Senator Jeff Denham (R-Merced), an almond farmer and former chair of the Senate Ag Committee, said a number of bills were passed in 2006 or are on the horizon for 2007 that will place higher standards on air and water pollution and are likely to affect how farmers operate in California. <more> March 2007 Newsletter 
     

  • Regulators Show Interest in Sustainability at International Conference - - State and federal regulators were well represented at the International Conference on the Future of Agriculture in Sacramento, illustrating intensifying interest in the dominant themes of stewardship and sustainability. California Department of Pesticide Regulation chief Mary-AnnWarmerdam emphasized, “Governor Schwarzenegger wants clean water, air, and soils and no excuses.  He wants environmental improvement with economic growth within the concept of sustainability.” Bottom line?  Assessment of sustainability could become a tool for development of agricultural policy.  <more> March 2007 Newsletter
     

  • Book Cites Cooperative Learning Model for Solving Environmental Issues - - In Agroecology in Action, author Keith Douglass Warner provides detailed case studies in agroecology, an emerging scientific approach to agriculture's environmental issues characterized by cooperative public/private partnerships between growers, scientists, agricultural groups and public agencies. Agroecology in Action shows that agroecology can be put into action effectively only when networks of farmers, scientists, and other stakeholders learn together. Warner outlines how these successful cooperative learning models, including the Almond Industry’s Pest Management Alliance, have helped develop and incorporate innovative, ecologically based techniques into conventional farming systems to reduce reliance on agrochemicals. Warner is Faith, Ethics, and Vocation Project Director in the Environmental Studies Institute at Santa Clara University, where he is also a lecturer and Franciscan Friar.  For information or to order Agroecology in Action, log on to the MIT Press web site at www.mitpress.mit.edu.
     

  • Statewide Rules Enacted on Diesel Engines - - New statewide regulations will require that older stationary diesel powered engines be upgraded or replaced with newer, cleaner engines beginning in 2011. The new rule requires that all ag diesel motors greater than 15 horsepower be registered with the local air district by March 1, 2008. “Air districts will impose registration application fees and annual maintenance fees on each registered motor, which could run from $30 to $250 per year,” said Gabriele Ludwig, senior manager of Global Technical & Regulatory Affairs for the Almond Board. In addition, older motors greater than 50 hp would need to be replaced or retrofitted with cleaner technologies.<more> March 2007 Newsletter
     

  • Guthion phase out for almonds detailed by EPA - - The U.S. EPA has  issued its final decision to phase out the remaining 10 uses of the organophosphate insecticide azinphos-methyl (AZM, known by its trade name Guthion, over the next few years. The EPA decision means that almond growers will be able to continue the use of Guthion for a total of three more growing seasons, explained Gabriele Ludwig, senior manager of global technical and regulatory affairs for the Almond Board of California. Guthion’s use on almonds will be canceled by October 2009. Originally, EPA had proposed canceling the nut uses for Guthion in September 2007. In return for extending the use, EPA is requiring several additional measures to protect waterways, farmworker housing and other residential sites and reduce applicator exposures. Use in almonds is now limited to June, July and August. Additionally, there must be a 300 or 500 foot buffer to waterways depending in which county the orchard is located, a 60-foot buffer for all residential or occupied structures (excluding farm structures) and applicators must use an enclosed cab.
    For additional information about the AZM phase out:
    http://www.epa.gov/oppsrrd1/op/azm/phaseout_fs.htm

    -- The agency's AZM reregistration web page: http://www.epa.gov/oppsrrd1/op/azm.htm

    -- AZM docket number EPA-HQ-OPP-2005-0061: http://www.regulations.gov


Fall 2006 Newsletter

  • Click here to download as PDF file

  • Almond Grower Looks Long-Term with His Orchard Growing Practices - - Matt Billings, a fourth-generation almond farmer based in Delano, Calif., takes a long view of his vertical almond operation. The father of two young children, Billings said sustainable farming will help ensure the health and production of his land and orchard for future generations. “For us, the goal is to not use such heavy inputs that you ruin the soil, tree or orchard for short-term gains,” he said. “Especially with a permanent crop. If you have an orchard in the ground, you are committed for 25 to 30 years, so you have sustainability built in from the beginning.”  The key to successful sustainable farming, he said, is more footwork in the orchard, carefully monitoring pest and disease pressures and staying on top of irrigation and nutrient status on a block-by-block—and even tree-by-tree—basis. Billings never sprays on the calendar, and makes decisions about irrigation, fertility and other inputs with consideration for variety, soil type, petiole samples, trap counts, yield potential and orchard conditions. <more> October  2006 California Almonds Newsletter
     

  • Almond Industry Explores the Definition of Sustainable Agriculture - - This past year, the Environmental Stewardship Campaign has explored the concept of “sustainability,” a term growing in popularity and use by regulators, academia, granting and funding sources, the media and the consuming public. The use of the term sustainability and sustainable almond growing practices was the topic of professionally moderated focus groups with almond growers, handlers, PCAs and UC farm advisors in Chico, Modesto, Fresno and Tulare. The first—and perhaps most remarkable—finding of the focus groups was that not a single participant opposed the idea of developing a definition for sustainable almond growing. In essence, defining and pursuing efforts in sustainability was not a controversial issue among these industry members.  “From my perspective as someone who has studied several commodities, I found this alone surprising and encouraging,” said the focus group facilitator, Dr. Keith Douglass Warner, Director of the Faith, Ethics & Vocation Project at Santa Clara University’s Environmental Studies Institute.  <more>  October 2006 California Almonds Newsletter
     

  • Regulators Show Interest in Sustainability at International Conference - - State and federal regulators were well represented at the International Conference on the Future of Agriculture in Sacramento, illustrating intensifying interest in the dominant themes of stewardship and sustainability. DPR’s chief Mary Ann Warmerdam emphasized, “Governor Schwarzenegger wants clean water, air, and soils and no excuses.  He wants environmental improvement with economic growth within the concept of sustainability.”     “The bottom line is, assessment of sustainability could become a tool for development of agricultural policy,” said Gabriele Ludwig, senior manager of global technical and regulatory affairs for the Almond Board of California. “This is the direction regulators are going.” <more> October 2006 California Almonds Newsletter  
     

  • When is it “Conservation” and when is it “Sustainable”? - - Those involved in sustainability and conservation efforts seem to use the words interchangeably.  In fact, conservation and sustainable are two different terms, says Dr. Keith Douglass Warner, Director of the Faith, Ethics & Vocation Project at Santa Clara University’s Environmental Studies Institute.  Warner should know. He’s got the book on the subject due to be published in November 2006, Agroecology in Action, MIT Press.   “Conservation focuses on individual resources like air and water, while sustainability is a broader concept, a goal or vision,” said Warner, who also happens to be a Franciscan Friar. “Where conservation is about certain individual practices, sustainability is a collective effort, a mechanism to coordinate actions. It involves the behavior of institutions and assumes organizational strength.” What does the almond industry need to do?  The Friar has an answer:  “That same organizational strength that brought farmers together for marketing purposes is now needed to survive the pressures of farming in California.” October 2006 California Almonds Newsletter
     

  • ABC Funds Environmental Research - - The Almond Board of California’s Environmental Stewardship Committee is funding a number of ongoing research projects for 2006-07 to address environmental issues related to almond production and orchard management. For a closer look at some of these projects,  click here. October 2006 California Almonds Newsletter
     

  • Water Board Sets Deadline for Joining Watershed Coalitions - - In a 5-2 vote, the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board earlier this summer agreed to extend the Irrigated Lands Program for five years and added a deadline for landowners to join regional watershed coalitions or face requirements to get individual waste discharge permits. The Water Board has also ordered names of individual coalition members to be turned in to the Water Board annually beginning in October 2006. Coalitions must provide the lists and maps indicating properties covered by coalitions, according to Parry Klassen, executive Director of the Coalition for Urban/Rural Stewardship (CURES).  <more>  October 2006 California Almonds Newsletter


Summer 2006 Newsletter

  • VOC Issue Comes to the Forefront. New air quality regulations could impact price and availability of many popular almond compounds - - California pesticide regulators are aggressively pushing to reduce smog-forming emissions from pesticides, called volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. This move is likely to change how and to what degree several major pesticides and fumigants are used in almond orchards and other crops. The state Department of Pesticide Regulation in June announced it is initiating an intensive program to meet federal and court-ordered mandates to reduce VOCs from pesticides in some of the state's smoggiest areas. The announcement made clear that the decade-old VOC issue is becoming a priority in the air quality regulatory arena, with potential implications for almond growers in the very near term. "This is the first time pesticides are being regulated as air pollutants," said Gabriele Ludwig, senior manager, of global technical and regulatory affairs for the Almond Board of California. "This could impact 10 to 15 compounds widely used in almond orchards." <more> July 2006 Newsletter Almond Board of California

  • Click here for PDF file
     

  • How VOCs came to the forefront - - As with other environmental issues, there are several often confusing, and sometimes conflicting, regulatory and judicial circumstances placing increased emphasis on the reduction of VOCs from pesticides. The San Joaquin Valley is currently operating under a 1994 State Implementation Plan developed by the California Air Resources Board to bring the region into compliance with federal clean air standards for ozone. That State Implementation Plan, or SIP, required a 12-percent reduction in pesticide VOCs by 1999 in the San Joaquin Valley. Unfortunately, Ludwig said, the basis for how those baseline VOC levels were calculated changed in the process and DPR found itself out of compliance with the requirements of the SIP in the last 2 years. <more> July 2006 Newsletter Almond Board of California
     

  • EPA announces phase out of Guthion on almonds by 2007 - - U.S. EPA announced June 9 a proposal to phase out all uses of azinphos-methyl (AZM), an OP insecticide known by its trade name Guthion, which has been under regulatory scrutiny for several years. Use on almonds, Brussels sprouts, pistachios, walnuts, and nursery stock is to be phased out in 2007 and other remaining uses are to be phased out in 2010. During the phase out, EPA is proposing additional restrictions, including reduced annual application rates, additional worker monitoring, and larger buffer zones to help minimize ecological risks. Guthion is highly valued by almond growers for control of Navel Orangeworm (NOW), one of the most serious pests in almonds. NOW causes direct damage to the mature nuts. Damaged nuts are locations where the mold, Aspergillus, can gain a foothold and produce aflatoxins.  <more> July 2006 Newsletter Almond Board of California

  • Click here for PDF file
     


Spring 2006 Newsletter


Fall 2005 Newsletter


Spring 2005 Newsletter


Fall 2004 Newsletter


Environmental Stewardship Campaign
 

For more information on the Almond Board's Environmental Committee, click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Personal Commitment to Air Quality

Almond growers in the San Joaquin Valley are adopting environmentally friendly practices as they work to enhance air quality. Fresno County grower Tom Steffen uses a mix of molasses and water to suppress dust on his orchard's road. Click here (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader) to read more about how almond growers are meeting the challenge of  improving air quality.

Innovation is the key to air quality solutions in California almond industry- - Tradition has been a byword of the California almond industry for nearly a century. But as air quality issues rise to the forefront of public concern, it is the industry's well-established knack for innovation that is helping to produce practical solutions. <more> Almond Board of California press release July 10, 2004

Environmental Champion Award

The EPA recognized the California almond industry for its leadership on environmental issues when it named the Almond Board a Champion for Pesticide Environmental Stewardship. Click here to learn more.