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Almond Orchard Recycling a Climate-Smart Strategy

Recycling trees onsite can sequester carbon, save water and increase crop yields, making it a climate-smart practice for California’s irrigated almond orchards, finds a study from the University of California, Davis. Whole orchard recycling is when old orchard trees are ground, chipped and turned back into the soil before new almond trees are planted. The study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, suggests that whole orchard recycling can help almond orchards be more sustainable and resilient to drought while also increasing carbon storage in the soil. “To me what was really impressive was the water piece,” said corresponding author Amélie Gaudin, an associate professor of agroecology in the UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences. “Water is central to how we think about agriculture in California. This is a clear example of capitalizing on soil health. Here we see some real benefits for water conservation and for growers.” Burn vs. turn Drought and high almond prices have encouraged higher rates of orchard turnover in recent years. The previous practice of burning trees that are no longer productive is now restricted under air quality regulations, so whole orchard recycling presents an alternative. But how sustainable and effective is it for the environment and for farmers? For the study, scientists measured soil health and tree productivity of an almond orchard that turned previous prunus woody biomass back into the soil through whole orchard recycling and compared it with an orchard that burned its old trees nine years prior.  They also experimentally reduced an orchard’s irrigation by 20 percent to quantify its water resilience. Their results found that, compared with burn treatments, whole orchard recycling can: Sequester 5 tons of carbon per hectare Increase water-use efficiency by 20 percent Increase crop yields by 19 percent “This seems to be a practice that can mitigate climate change by building the soil’s potential to be a carbon sink, while also building nutrients and water retention,” said Gaudin. “That can be especially important as water becomes more limited.” Study co-authors included Emad Jahanzad and Kelsey Brewer of UC Davis, Brent Holtz and Sean Hogan of UC Agriculture and Natural Resources’ Cooperative Extension, and Cameron Zuber and David Doll of UC Cooperative Extension. The study was funded by a Specialty Crop Block Grant Program of the California Department of Food and Agriculture and the Almond Board of California.  Media Contacts:   Kat Kerlin, UC Davis News and Media Relations, 530-752-7704, kekerlin@ucdavis.edu Ann Filmer, UC Davis Plant Sciences, communications, 530-754-6788, afilmer@ucdavis.edu Press kit of images: https://ucdavis.box.com/s/hiew7stpqih512jfv39akns3cyi27qs6
University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources
News Article
// About the Almond Board, About the Almond Industry, Orchard Management

California Almond Industry Working to Meet Demand for Healthy, Shelf-Stable Almonds and Almond Products

Agriculture is a designated essential industry. As such, California agriculture is continuing to produce healthy, fresh food. Workers in every segment of the food production chain are designated as "Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers" by the Department of Homeland Security and California State Public Health Officer as they are "critical to maintaining and securing our food supply." On March 16 the President issued updated Coronavirus Guidance for America stating explicitly that food supply is a "critical infrastructure industry," and that workers in this sector "have a special responsibility to maintain your normal work schedule." This includes the 104,000 hardworking men and women who grow, process, and transport almonds around the globe. The California almond industry is working to keep stores and pantries stocked to meet the increased demand for healthy, shelf-stable almonds and almond products. As we continue to produce food we are also focused on protecting the health of our families and employees, following the guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to prevent the spread of COVID-19 many of which are already the basis for the almond industry's Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has clearly stated that COVID-19 is not a food safety risk, almond processors continue to implement enhanced employee and facility sanitation practices to ensure food safety.   While this situation is impacting business around the globe, California's almond shipments have been steady. Demand has remained strong, and buyers around the globe want to buy California almonds. While there have been reports of some challenges related to supply chain logistics, almonds are a shelf-stable food and able to withstand some of the delays which the food industry is experiencing.  The Almond Board of California continues to serve the industry during this time, working remotely in line with California mandates, but staying in contact with our government partners and industry stakeholders to ensure we can share essential updates with almond growers and processors.
almond branch
News Article
// About the Almond Board, About the Almond Industry

Josette Lewis, Ph.D., named Chief Scientific Officer

MODESTO, Calif. —The Almond Board of California (ABC) announces the promotion of Josette Lewis, Ph.D., to Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) from her present position of Director, Agricultural Affairs, which she had held since joining the Almond Board in early 2019. Since joining ABC, Dr. Lewis has led the development, funding, and strategy of ABC's agricultural research programs. Following the retirement of Dr. Karen Lapsley on July 31, 2020, Lewis will assume responsibility for human nutrition and biomass research, which Dr. Lapsley will continue to lead during the transition. "Josette's promotion to Chief Scientific Officer is exciting for all of us at ABC," said Richard Waycott, president, and CEO, ABC. "Her insight and expertise will continue the work ABC has accomplished under the leadership of Dr. Karen Lapsley, further building a foundation of knowledge in human nutrition and responsible farming practices in keeping with our vision to make life better by what we grow and how we grow." Research is an essential area of focus for ABC as it fuels vital initiatives like the Almond Orchard 2025 Goals, which set industry-wide targets in the areas of water efficiency, zero waste, environmentally friendly pest management, and air quality. "I look forward to continuing almond research that supports the Almond Orchard 2025 Goals and positions California almonds in a way that they remain profitable and of the highest quality in the future," Dr. Lewis said. Dr. Lapsley, who has served the California almond industry for 21 years, has transitioned to the position of Senior Director, Nutrition Research, and Special Projects. Dr. Lapsley will continue to oversee biomass research, human nutrition and other special projects until her retirement. She will also continue to participate in key cross-function efforts and provide a historical perspective on almond varieties globally. Dr. Lewis has a doctorate in molecular biology from the University of California, Los Angeles. Her career experience includes agricultural research and policy spanning government, academic, nonprofit, and tech-based corporate sectors.   For More Information: Desiree Silva Manager, Media Relations (209) 343-3260 dsilva@almondboard.com
almond bloom
News Article
// About the Almond Board

Survey Says: Almond Eaters Are Happier

MODESTO, Calif. — Almonds are power-packed with nutrition, provide natural sustained energy to conquer your day in any combination of craveable forms and support beauty from the inside out. And if you count yourself among the almond fan faithful, then you’ve got even more reasons to celebrate your favorite superfood this National Almond Day! So what makes almond eaters stand out from the rest of the crowd? A new California Almonds survey of American consumers found that almond eaters are more likely to be happier than their peers. Crunch on! The survey also found that almond eaters aren’t just happier – but they’re healthier than their peers, too. Fellow snackers are more likely to stick with new healthy habits for longer periods of time, staying the course for up to 6 months on average versus non-almond snackers who call it quits after only 4 months. Almond eaters also prefer all-natural snacks (74 percent) and plan for healthy snacking (59 percent). Purposeful snacking and health habits are important to maintain - especially when they help fuel quality of life, well-being and happiness. On this coming National Almond Day, share some of the almonds you packed in your perfect portion tin with the non-almond eaters in your life to spread the holiday cheer. “You can feel good about eating almonds as they contain nutrients that will help keep you feeling satisfied and fueled no matter what the day brings,” said registered dietitian Maya Feller. “Almonds are also an easy to pack and highly portable snack for busy people who want to prioritize their energy and health.” Feller encourages everyone to keep your choices realistic and sustainable when thinking about your wellness habits and says that nutritious snack-prep is an important first step to achieving #healthgoals. According to the survey, almond eaters are more likely to prioritize their health and report that ‘nothing prevents them from eating healthy’ (52% of almond eaters vs. 41% of non-almond eaters).  With six grams of natural protein and four grams of satisfying fiber, in addition to 13 grams of ‘good-for-you’ fats in just one serving, almonds make the perfect snack for people who care about their energy and health. California Almonds encourages all to celebrate the national holiday with a few sweet recipes: Handful of Whole or Diced Almonds and Dried Cranberries Keep your daily handful of almonds in a cute tin, for a crunchy snack that looks just as stylish as it does tasty! Almond Butter Crunch Cookies Made with creamy almond butter and roasted almond, this delicious crunchy cookie is easy to make and a great anytime snack for when a cookie craving hits. Robust Raspberry Almond Smoothie Let this crisp and fruity drink give you a smart morning start, or act as an afternoon snack to keep hunger at bay. With every sip, you'll enjoy the smooth taste of almond butter, almond milk, frozen raspberries, and a touch of honey. Stacked Ice Cream Sandwiches With Strawberries Feeling like a culinary genius has never been so easy. This decadent fresh-strawberry dessert may seem extravagant, but it takes only a few minutes to assemble. About Maya Feller, R.D. Maya Feller, MS, RD, CDN is a Registered Dietitian who specializes in nutrition for chronic disease prevention. Maya’s believes that by making simple food choices, you can greatly reduce your risk of developing a diet related chronic disease. Half of all Americans suffer from a preventable chronic disease like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, cancer, and stroke. To address this difficult and complex epidemic, Maya is dedicated to promoting nutrition education that helps the public to make informed food choices that support health and longevity. She is adjunct faculty at New York University in the Department of Nutrition Food Studies and Public Health. Maya shares her approachable, real food-based solutions to millions of people through regular speaking engagements and as a nutrition expert on Good Morning America, Strahan Sara and Keke and more. She is the author of recently released The Southern Comfort Food Diabetes Cookbook. *About California Almonds Survey This survey, conducted with financial support from the Almond Board of California between June 26-July 13, 2019, was conducted online using Ipsos’ KnowledgePanel and yielded a total sample size of 4,027 adults. Panel members are randomly recruited by probability-based sampling to be representative of the U.S. adult population: Gender (n= 1,933 males; 2,094 females) Generation (n= 68 GenZ; 778 Millennials; 1,449 GenX; 1,399 Boomers; 333 Mature) Those with children <18 years in household (n= 1,568 Yes; 2,448 No) Almond consumers (weekly+; n=1,224)
almond forms
News Article
// Almond, Nutrition & Wellness

Seeds for Bees: Millions of Wildflowers and Cover Crops Set to Bloom Alongside California's Annual Almond Blossom

SALT LAKE CITY, /PRNewswire/ -- As beekeepers from across the U.S. arrive in California for the annual almond pollination season next month, their hives will be placed in orchards soon to be teeming with white almond blossoms and, increasingly, blooming cover crops and wildflowers. Now in its 7th year, Project Apis m.'s (PAm) Seeds for Bees program has distributed nearly 40,000 acres of blooming plant seeds to California farmers, increasing the diversity, density, and duration of available bee forage while improving sustainability and soil health. "Almond pollen is 25% protein and provides all 10 of the amino acids their diets require so honey bees love it," said Billy Synk, Director of Pollination Programs for PAm. "When you add blooming cover crops or even hedgerows into the mix, almond orchards can provide sustained nutrition for pollinating honey bees and other pollinators." Proper nutrition is a crucial part of honey bee health. A healthy diet helps mitigate damage from other health threats facing honey bees including Varroa mites, pathogens and pesticide exposures. The Seeds for Bees mixes bloom at critical times of the year when natural forage is scarce but managed and native bees are active. While the mixes are designed to meet the nutritional needs of honey bees, they also provide habitat and nutrition for other pollinators and beneficial insects. Through research supported both by PAm and the Almond Board of California, studies have shown that these bee pastures are fully compatible with typical almond production practices and do not interfere with important farming activities like harvest. Not only does this practice support beekeepers by providing more diverse nutrition for bees, it also brings benefits to farmers by adding organic matter to the soil, increasing water infiltration, reducing erosion, and providing a natural weed control. "With a crop that relies primarily on honey bees for pollination, it is in almond farmers' best interest to ensure their orchards are a safe place for bees each spring," said Synk. "As we approach another pollination season, many almond farmers continue to be good partners as we develop and deploy collaborative solutions for healthier pollinators and a more secure food supply." Providing technical assistance and free seed for farmers to plant cover crops in California's agricultural landscapes is just part of PAm's mission. In addition to the Seeds for Bees program, PAm also uses donated funds for applied research studies, for equipment bee research labs need, and provides graduate scholarships to support new bee scientists in their pursuit of science-based solutions. PAm is supported by a diversity of donors including beekeepers and growers, industry partners, and corporate sponsors.  Learn more and donate at www.ProjectApism.org/support-us. "The challenges facing honey bees are complex and constantly evolving. Working together with organizations like the Bee Informed Partnership, the Almond Board of California, the Honey Bee Health Coalition and many more, along with many researchers, almond farmers and beekeepers, we can achieve far more collectively than we can separately," said Danielle Downey, executive director of PAm. "These collaborations, focused on research and data, communication and forage, are a critical component to the long-term sustainability of beekeeping and almonds." About Project Apis m. Project Apis m. (PAm) is the go-to organization at the interface of honey bees and pollinated crops. Since 2006, we've infused over $8 million into honey bee research and projects to provide healthier bees, resulting in better pollination and increased crop yields for the grower, and lower losses and better honey production for the beekeeper. We work closely with commercial beekeepers, growers, and top bee scientists in the USA and Canada to direct strategic efforts focused on practical solutions. PAm funds research studies, purchases equipment for research labs, supports graduate students through scholarships to encourage careers in pursuit of science-based solutions to honey bee challenges and has expanded efforts to enhance honey bee health and nutrition by putting forage on the landscape where bees need it most. We are a 501(c)5 nonprofit organization governed by a ten-member board. Our board members include beekeepers, pollinators and honey producers representing major national and state industry organizations. PAm also has six scientific advisors who review proposals with the board. Learn more at www.ProjectApism.org  CONTACT: Name: Sharah Yaddaw Phone: 916-287-3035 Email: Sharah@ProjectApism.org SOURCE Project Apis m.
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// About the Almond Board, Almond Bloom and Bees
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