Promising New Almond Varieties are Being Developed
“We've been working on our regional variety trials, and we've just finished our fifth harvest on these trees. So there are some varieties that are promising and there are some newer commercial varieties that are doing well, as well as a few experimental varieties out of the UC Davis and USDA research breeding programs,” said Duncan. “And so there are going to be some newer varieties that are going to be interesting in the next few years and many of these are self-fertile almonds.”
And there are a lot of advantages to self-fertile almonds, noted Duncan.
“Self-fertile varieties are a expensive to farm than you would expect because you don't rely as much on bees to spread the pollen. You would expect to have more consistent yields from year to year,” Duncan explained.
“So even during years where we have poor weather conditions during bloom, you would expect to have a better set during that time. And there's a one harvest process, if you have the whole orchard 100%, that one variety,” he said. “Which of course means you don't have to harvest those pollinators after you harvest that self-fruitful variety.”