Environmental Information
for the California Almond Industry
Environmental Stewardship Campaign Press Release Archive
  • Drought help for almond growers - -California almond growers have until May 8 to take advantage of a new USDA program that pays a higher-than-normal 75 percent cost-share for certain management practices to keep trees alive under extreme drought conditions. Of interest to almond growers are practices to improve irrigation water management and pruning to keep trees alive. The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service in California will take applications for $2 million available for these and other practices, which are designed to protect soil and air quality in areas of fallowed fields and to protect natural resources on ranch and pasture land. “With many almond growers feeling the impact created by a lack of water availability, it appears that this special cost-share program may be of assistance in funding certain drought mitigation management practices,” said Gabriele Ludwig, senior manager, global technical and regulatory Affairs, Almond Board of California. <more> April 20, 2009 Almond Board of California Press Release

  • Valley workshops set on future of irrigated lands program -- A series of workshops will be held throughout the Central Valley later this month and in early April to discuss the future of the Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program. The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board is conducting the workshops to gather comments on the program elements and environmental information that should be considered in the development of a long-term program. The meetings will be held in Sacramento March 26; Modesto April 1; Tulare April 2 and Durham April 8. "The irrigated land program will very likely be changed to include groundwater and that is a very significant change which growers should be aware of," said Gabriele Ludwig, the Almond Board of California’s senior manager for technical and regulatory affairs. "These workshops will discuss how groundwater monitoring might be implemented and it is important for growers to attend and voice their opinions on how such a monitoring program should be developed. Thus, this program will affect every almond grower in the Central Valley.” <more> March 18, 2008 Almond Board of California Press Release

  • Regulators View Environmental Successes on Almond Orchard Tour  - - More than 30 regulators, members of the media and local dignitaries gathered in February for the Almond Board of California’s fourth annual Environmental Stewardship Tour in Hickman, Calif., to hear first-hand how the industry is tackling environmental issues. State and federal regulators praised the work of almond growers and handlers—including tour host Braden Farms—who are finding solutions to environmental challenges, including endangered species, air and water quality and reduced-risk pest management. <more> March 11, 2008 Almond Board of California Press Release

  • View video of tour

  • Almond Pest Management Alliance Honored by DPR with Second IPM Innovator Award - - The Almond Pest Management Alliance’s latest recognition as an IPM Innovator is the result of a cooperative effort between growers, industry groups, researchers, and regulatory agencies to help integrate economically and environmentally sound production practices into commercial orchards, according to project participants. The Almond Pest Management Alliance (PMA) was selected by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation to receive an unprecedented second IPM Innovator Award for 2007 for its publication of “A Seasonal Guide to Environmentally Responsible Pest Management Practices in Almonds.” The IPM Innovator award will be presented in a ceremony Jan. 17 at the Cal EPA headquarters in Sacramento. “For the first time this year, we will honor repeat IPM Innovators,” said DPR Director Mary-Ann Warmerdam. “Our partners in the almond industry are being honored for the second time, as the Almond Board won an Innovator Award in 1997. It’s especially gratifying to see commodity groups that continue to distinguish themselves as leaders in reduced-risk pest management, and our Almond Pest Management Alliance friends are most worthy of this second award.” <more> Dec. 20, 2007  Almond Board of California Press Release

  • Environmental Panel Discusses What’s New in Environmental Regulations Dec. 6 at Almond Industry Conference in Modesto - -  The Almond Board of California is featuring a panel of environmental experts within its annual conference being held at the Modesto Centre Plaza on Dec. 5-6.   The panel discussion entitled, “What’s New in Environmental Regulatory Issues?” will provide attendees with an update of the regulatory changes affecting growers in the areas of air quality, water quality and pesticides.  The expert panelists include:
    • Mary-Ann Warmerdam, Director of California Department of Pesticide Regulation.  Ms. Warmerdam will speak to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and soil fumigant regulations.
    • Cynthia Cory, California Farm Bureau’s Environmental Affairs Director.  Ms. Cory will speak on the implications of greenhouse gas regulation as well as new truck motor legislation and the future expansion to ag equipment motors.
    • Parry Klassen, Director of the Center for Urban and Rural Environmental Stewardship (CURES) program.  Mr. Klassen is very involved in water-quality issues relating to agriculture and will bring us up-to-date on water quality regulations and the Irrigated Lands program.
      <more> Nov. 6, 2007 Almond Board of California Press Release

  • Almond Board of California Hosts Water Availability Seminar Nov. 13 in Modesto - - The Almond Board of California on Nov. 13 in Modesto is hosting a panel of experts to discuss water availability issues facing the Central Valley.  Recent court decisions related to protecting the endangered Delta Smelt in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta and restoring salmon to the San Joaquin River—coupled with drought and population growth in California—are putting unprecedented strain on the future availability of agricultural surface water. This seminar will provide an opportunity for growers to learn from the experts just how these water challenges will affect California agriculture and the almond industry in particular. Speakers for this event will include: * Mike Wade, Executive Director, CA. Farm Water Coalition, presenting the statewide perspective on the water issues;* Todd Manley, Director, Government Relations Northern California Water Association, discussing the Sacramento Valley perspective; * Bill Harrison, General Manager, Del Puerto Water District, presenting the North San Joaquin Valley perspective; * Jim Beck, General Manager, Kern County Water Agency, discussing the issues affecting water availability for the South San Joaquin Valley. The seminar will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2007 from 1-4 p.m. at the State Theatre of Modesto, 1307 J Street.  If you are interested in understanding how water issues affect you, please R.S.V.P. your interest in attending by e-mailing Debye Hunter at dhunter@almondboard.com or by calling her at 209.343.3230.  Please respond by Nov.  1, 2007. For more information, please click here  Oct. 24, 2007 Almond Board of California Press Release

  • Grower input is critical on proposed new soil fumigant restrictions - - By Gabriele Ludwig, Senior Manager, Global Technical & Regulatory Affairs, Almond Board of California. Proposed new state and federal regulations could have immediate and far-reaching effects on how and to what extent preplant soil fumigants are used in almonds and other California crops. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and California Department of Pesticide Regulation are currently seeking public comment on two separate proposed soil fumigant regulations. These rules are likely to limit fumigant use during certain periods and require new application methods and mitigation measures. Most critical in the short term, DPR has proposed rules to sharply reduce soil fumigant air emissions that are thought to contribute to smog-forming ozone in areas with poor air quality, which includes the San Joaquin Valley, Southeast Desert and Ventura County. The regulations must be issued by Jan. 1, 2008 to bring DPR in compliance with a federal judge’s ruling last fall. <more> Oct. 12,2007 Western Farm Press

  • Simple steps can reduce almond harvest dust - - By Gabriele Ludwig, Senior Manager, Global Technical & Regulatory Affairs Almond Board of California. Mounting air quality regulations and pressure from urban neighbors in the San Joaquin Valley continue to place pressure on growers to find ways to reduce the amount of dust and fine particulates emitted from their farming operations. The valley has been in narrow compliance with federal PM10 (particulates 10 microns or less in size) standards in recent years. While the ag industry can certainly feel good about the voluntary efforts they are making to help meet PM10 standards, growers still need to pay attention to dust, and find ways to further reduce their emissions at harvest. <more> Aug, 6, 2007 Western Farm Press Guest Editorial  

  • Almond Industry Pursues High-Tech Solutions to Environmental Challenges. Interagency workshop highlights coordinated effort to solve specialty crops’ challenges through engineering and technology research - - The Almond Board of California and other specialty crop industries are engaged in a coordinated effort with government scientists and technology providers to identify and secure funding for engineering research to solve common industry challenges. Gabriele Ludwig, the Almond Board’s Senior Manager of Global Technical & Regulatory Affairs and Mel Machado, a member of the Almond Board’s Environmental Stewardship Committee, at an April workshop titled “Engineering Solutions for Specialty Crop Challenges” highlighted the need for new technologies to reduce the environmental impact of growing almonds. <more> June 25, 2007 Almond Board of California Press Release

  • Almond Growers Urged To Comment on New Soil Fumigant Rules - - State and federal agencies are currently seeking public comments on two separate proposed soil fumigant regulations.  These regulations could have immediate and far reaching effects on how, and to what extent current preplant soil fumigants are used on almonds and other California crops. <more> June 14, 2007 Almond Board of California Press Release

  • Burn Ban for Almond Orchard Removal in SJV Takes Effect this June - - Almond growers in the San Joaquin Valley as of June 1, 2007 will no longer be able to burn removed orchards as part of a ban on open agricultural burning being phased in by the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District. Growers will still have until June 2010 to obtain permits to burn prunings from surface harvested crops such as almonds. The June deadline on orchard removal burning marks the third phase of the gradual elimination of open burning in the San Joaquin Valley to manage agricultural products, including prunings. <more> June 13, 2007  Almond Board of California Press release  

  • June workshops will discuss ag engine replacement rules - - A series of workshops in June will educate farmers about a new rule designed to lower emission levels from natural gas and diesel engines in the San Joaquin Valley. The first workshop is set for June 20 in Stockton and Modesto and will conclude with a June 29 session in Hanford. As of Jan. 1, 2008, nearly all stationary and portable internal combustion engines that are over 50 horsepower in size in the San Joaquin Valley will have to be replaced or retrofitted to meet the rule requirements. Seven June workshops have been scheduled to provide rule detail and layout options for an engine owner/operator. <more> June 7, 2007 Almond Board of California Press Release  

  • New study: Public-private partnerships providing ag environmental solutions. Almond Board partnerships hailed as successful models. - - Partnerships between researchers, extension agents and growers that encourage greater participation and a cooperative learning environment are providing real-world solutions to many of the environmental issues facing California farmers, according to a recent study. The study by a leading university agro-environmental researcher points to the Almond Pest Management Alliance as a primary example of the success of such public/private partnerships. Study author Keith Douglass Warner of the Environmental Studies Institute at Santa Clara University said many of these partnerships, such as the Biologically Integrated Farming Systems and Pest Management Alliance projects, have helped successfully integrate alternatives to widely used traditional pesticides into mainstream farming systems by promoting a high level of grower participation and support. Titled “Integrated Farming Systems and Pollution Prevention Initiatives Stimulate Co-Learning Extension Strategies,” the study reports that the growth and success of these programs reflects a shift from the cooperative extension’s early model of “technology transfer” to an emphasis on participatory co-learning and decision-making support. <more> Dec. 3, 2006 Almond Board of California Press release  

  • Almond Industry Works to Meet Water Quality Regulations - -  The recent decision to extend the Conditional Ag Waivers for Irrigated Lands program for five years will allow almond growers and other irrigators to continue seeking cooperative solutions to water quality concerns as they arise, according to the Almond Board of California. <more> Aug. 7, 2006 Almond Board of California Press Release

  • Almond Environmental Stewardship Tour showcases industry's commitment to environmentally responsible production methods - - March 3, 2006

  • Almond Board of California Honors Outgoing Production Research and Environmental Director Chris Heintz - - Dec. 22, 2005

  • Environmental Stewardship, Maximizing Production Can Go Hand-In-Hand, Says IPM Award Winning Almond Grower - - Dec. 21, 2005

  • Almond Dust Busters: Challenges of harvest dust met on several fronts - - Nov. 8, 2005

  • Orchard Sprayer Calibration Instrument Begins Regional Clinics  - - Nov. 1, 2005

  • Financial Incentives For Almond Growers’ Air Quality Compliance on Tap at Central Valley Workshops, Nov. 1-4 - - Oct. 27, 2005
  • California Almond Industry Embraces Reduced Risk Compounds  - - June 14, 2005
  • Almond Growers Showcase Environmental Efforts  - - March 4, 2005
  • In Search of Something to Brighten the Winter Blues?  - - Feb. 7, 2005
  • Almond industry conference focuses on environmental stewardship - - Dec. 9, 2004
  • Environmentally responsible pest management guide published  - - Nov. 30, 2004
  • Environmental award earned by almond industry - - Sept. 17, 2004
  • Innovation is the key to air quality solutions in California almond industry - - July 10, 2004
  • Half-Million Dollar Budget Approved for Environmental Issues Facing Almond Industry - - May 26, 2004
  • Air quality workshops will assist almond growers with meeting new regulations- May 20, 2004
  • Almond growers adopting environmentally friendly pest management strategies. UC survey finds fewer growers using chemical sprays - - April 28, 2004
  • Almond Industry Begins Environmental Stewardship Campaign  - - Feb. 17, 2004

    Environmental Stewardship Campaign

  • Accomplishments for 2003-04 crop year
  • Accomplishment for 2004-05 crop year
  • Press Release Archive
  • Newsletter Archive
  • Environmental Stewardship brochure (Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

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.