Survey examines the adoption of perceived best management practices for almond nutrition
Sara E. Lopus, UC Davis
María Paz Santibáñez, UC Davis
Robert H. Beede, UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE)
Roger A. Duncan, UCCE Stanislaus County
John Edstrom, UCCE Colusa County
Franz J. A. Niederholzer, UC Davis
Cary J. Trexler, UC Davis
Patrick H. Brown, UC Davis
California Agriculture 64(3):149-154. DOI: 10.3733/ca.v064n03p149.
Fertilizer use in California agriculture has been under recent scrutiny regarding its impacts on air, surface water and groundwater quality. In June 2007, we surveyed almond growers to assess their plant nutrition practices, identify opportunities for improvement, and target research and extension needs. The majority of respondents, particularly those with large almond acreages, used fertigation to apply nitrogen; applied nitrogen coincident with periods of maximal plant demand; and collected annual tissue samples for analysis. While the survey results suggested broad compliance with the best-available management practices and are likely to indicate good nutrient-use efficiency, they also suggested that growers are uncertain about current practices to monitor orchard nutrient status and would value additional information to enable greater precision in fertilization rates and timing.
S.E. Lopus was M.S. Student, Department of Plant Sciences, UC Davis, and is now Ph.D. Student, Department of Demography, UC Berkeley; M.P. San-tibáñez was M.S. Student, Department of Plant Sciences, UC Davis; R.H. Beede is Farm Advisor, UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE), Kings County; R.A. Duncan is Farm Advisor, UCCE Stanislaus County; J. Edstrom is Farm Advisor, UCCE Colusa County; F.J.A. Niederholzer is Farm Advisor, UCCE Sutter and Yuba Counties, UC Davis; C.J. Trexler is Associate Professor, School of Education and College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, UC Davis; P.H. Brown is Professor, Department of Plant Sciences, UC Davis.
We are grateful to the Almond Board of California and the California Department of Food and Agriculture for funding this research project.