Hull and Shell Residues in the Almond Industry Could be Used to Help the Orchard
“I think the almond industry is extremely well positioned for a circular economy approach to pest management because they do have hull and shell residues, and ample amounts, that can be used as a resource,” said Simmons. “They're rich and materials that can be harnessed in the soil to directly inactivate pests and activate certain micro organisms in the soil to assist with that.”
And we asked Simmons about the formulation of the hull and shells. How would it work?
“Like a lot of things, it depends and so you can put a lot of large particulate material into this soil. You can get pest and activation and plant nutrient benefits from that, but there's a trade off in terms of you might have to wait longer to realize accelerated tree growth,” he noted. “That's something that we saw in our data.”
“So there, there's kind of multiple axis to optimize across in terms of making sure you get robust pest control, foremost, trying to maximize the secondary benefits of the added nutrients to the soil and other beneficial changes to soil properties,” Simmons explained. “However we want t o be careful in not going so far as to so radically change the soil that the plants are going to take years to adjust to it or perhaps never adjust to it. So you do have to balance these different priorities.”