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Gino Favagrossa: Cover crops benefit almond orchard, bee health
Almond Board |

The mustard is in bloom and the clover is taking root between rows of almonds at Favagrossa Farms. The influx of millions of hives of bees from across the nation is just gearing up. But the locals, home bees as it were, are already doing their thing in the yellow mustard bloom, something pleasing to the eye of Gino Favagrossa. “There are several of them right there,” he said, pointing out the bees that are foraging in his cover crop, waiting for a special treat to come - almond blossoms. Favagrossa was orchard and vineyard manager at Fresno State University for 24 years and is a longtime believer in cover crops. But, for him, the interest was spurred mostly for improving water infiltration and soil enrichment. Now, he and others are realizing benefits that come with improved bee health as they “anchor” their orchards with seed mixes that keep bees buzzing in those orchards longer, and keep the bees from straying to another orchard or an alfalfa field where pesticides might harm them. The Almond Board of California showcased cover crops being used for bee forage at three orchards in the state, including Favagrossa Farms.

About the Almond Board

Almonds from California are a natural, wholesome and quality food. The Almond Board of California promotes almonds through its research-based approach to all aspects of marketing, farming and production on behalf of the more than 6,000 almond growers and processors in California, many of whom are multi-generational family operations. Established in 1950 and based in Modesto, California, the Almond Board of California is a non-profit organization that administers a grower-enacted Federal Marketing Order under the supervision of the United States Department of Agriculture. For more information on the Almond Board of California or almonds, visit or check out California Almonds on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and the California Almonds blog.