Dr. Dave Goldhamer suggests for high yields next almond season ensure your almonds are not stressed during September. Be sure to eliminate stress on the tree as soon as the nuts are off, which means do not turn off your irrigation. In his trial he discovered cutting off post harvest irrigation resulted in an 800lb/ac yield loss the following year.
Cutting off irrigation to your almonds trees after harvest may be the biggest contributing factor for creating low yields next year. Dave Goldhamer has conducted some excellent research on the positive effects of post harvest irrigation on almonds. You can learn about this study here.
The Almond Dr. – David Doll – has also conducted research on post-harvest irrigation and he sites a University of California study showing trees deprived of irrigation post-harvest resulted in 10% less fruit set, a 33% reduction in fruit load and individual fruit weight.
The difference in yields is staggering and I can’t think of another crop where the totals are so extreme with the exception of wine grapes. With all the risks associated with farming successful growers look for simple adjustments to make to improve their operations. This is one of the easiest and most effective I have seen.
With harvest wrapping up across the state, now is an excellent time to shift your attention to soil moisture monitoring and control if you haven’t already. Timely installation is important to gain the true benefits of sensors, leading to
- Reduced irrigation costs
- Reduced labor costs.
- Reduced chances of overwatering and less nutrient leaching.
- Higher yields
If you would like to learn more about monitoring and control of water in your fields feel free to contact me or follow me on twitter @Tomdevol