Increasing Water Efficiency in Almonds

Increasing Water Efficiency in Almonds

Tim Hammerich
Tim Hammerich
News Reporter
This is Tim Hammerich with California Ag Today.

This week we’re exploring ways the Almond Board of California is investing in next-generation farming practices. One issue on the minds of all California producers is water.

Josette Lewis, Director of Agricultural Affairs for the Almond Board, says they are exploring ways growers can expand water capacity by increasing groundwater recharge for example. Also, they are focused on increasing water efficiency to get more crop for the drop.

Lewis…”Decreasing the amount of water by 20% needed to grow a pound of almonds is our orchard 2025 goal in this area. We'll focus attention on how to improve the efficiency of operating irrigation systems…

...We've had really great adoption already of high efficiency systems like microsprinklers and drip. But we've been funding research and will continue with grower outreach around how to better sense when the almond trees need water to be more precise in timing of the application of that water, which can pay off particularly in getting more yield for the same amount of water…

...So a large part of achieving that goal is actually improving the efficiency of how we time irrigation so that it really matches up closely with the needs that the tree, and we can get more yield for the same amount of water.”

Water will continue to be one focus of the $5.9 million investment the Almond Board is making into 85 independent research projects.

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