The Almond Board of California (ABC) will host workshops in various locations May 10-12 in conjunction with University of California weed specialists and staff. The workshops will take place in orchards where growers and PCAs can hone their weed identification skills and learn about weed management with consideration for resistance issues. Attendees will also learn how to monitor weeds and keep records for use in planning weed management programs.
Workshops will be held in Arbuckle, Turlock and Bakersfield. Registration is open to growers, PCAs and industry members.
The “In-the-Orchard Weed Identification and Management” workshops are second in a series of three workshop programs held by the Almond Board this growing season. The third and final workshops will address harvest dust management and renewable energy; dates and locations will be announced later.
ABC has been hosting workshops for several years to continue education around sustainable practices. These events are part of ABC’s California Almond Sustainability Program (CASP). Growers who participate in the program help the almond industry by providing the data to demonstrate that almond growers and processors are good stewards of the land and are considerate of neighbors and the consuming public. At the same time, it is an opportunity for growers to reflect on their management practices.
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Kent Stenderup, a Kern County almond grower, reports that the workshops are very useful for his own operation and he has been attending them for the past four years.
“I really appreciate the educational value of the CASP workshops,” said Stenderup. “You have an opportunity to pick up some ideas for changing your cultural practices, and all you have to do is show up for a few hours. This makes me a more progressive farmer by looking at some possible inefficiencies that I can correct.”
Online Modules and Calculators
In addition to the annual workshops, CASP offers eight online sustainability modules and measurement tools for California almond growers. The tools are designed to aid growers in making effective and efficient crop input decisions and also to meet certain reporting requirements for their operations. This includes a nitrogen calculator, a mapping tool and an irrigation calculator. All tools are available at SustainableAlmondGrowing.org.
The modules are offered online to allow growers to continue their sustainability education past the workshops, and to serve as an online database for each grower’s operation. These modules allow growers to modify and revisit online forms, which gives them the ability to measure and track how they have implemented sustainability practices over time. All information recorded in the modules is held strictly confidential, and is shared only in aggregate to represent the almond industry as a whole.
“We have more than a million acres of almonds in California,” said Stenderup. “When you get to that level, you have to be responsible. Every grower who has an acre is part of that one million. Being transparent about our cultural practices builds the trust of our buyers and the consuming public.”
The weed ID and management workshops will be held:
- May 10, Nickels Soil Lab, Green Bay Road, Arbuckle
- May 11, Genzoli Ranch, 1130 North Commons Road, Turlock
- May 12, Southern Star Rach, 14400 Panama Lane, Bakersfield
All workshops begin at 8:30 a.m. and conclude by 1 p.m. A complimentary lunch will be served.