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2022 AlmondBeat report #1: Keys for a successful pre-season

Updated: Apr 4, 2022

2022 season is about to kick off and we're happy to share this year's first AlmondBeat report, based on real-time data from over 10 million almond trees of our customers in Central Valley, California, from Tehama county to Kern county.


Some key issues we'd like to address:

  • When and how much to irrigate at the start of the season

  • The heat is on

  • Keeping important nutrients in the ground

  • Different irrigation tactics

At Phytech, we like to refer these questions - to the trees and check what they are telling us.


AlmondBeat report #1 , you're good to grow


At the start of the season, growers face some critical irrigation dilemmas that will affect their trees' health and future productivity such as when they should start irrigating and how much water should be applied.


As California struggles with drought conditions, rising water prices and water monitoring regulations like the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) - these questions become ever more important. Let's take a close look at some key issues


Low surface water, heat raises its head


"It's looking like a low surface water year", says Customer Success and Product Manager Mark Sherfy, "managing every bit of water will be important yet again. We'd rather be proactive than reactive, so checking daily your trees' status and health can help you determine trends and spot problems before they get too bad".


"Most growers will be in a mind set of mild to no irrigation because it's still raining", adds Tom Zeron, Phytech's California Customer Success Director", But sticking to the calendar, rather than hearing what trees are telling you can be a costly mistake". "Data from thousands of sensors across the valley shows that MDS (Maximum Daily Shrinkage) has been on the rise and is nearing stress levels. Also the fact this is the first heat wave has its own “shocking” effect on trees that until now enjoyed low temperatures".


It's also worth noting that the occasional rain during this time of year, depending on your soil profile and duration and amount of rain, might not fill the soil. So again, no need to guess. Just hear what trees are saying.


Here's a status snap-shot of millions of trees, monitored in the valley. A can be seen, yellow, oranges and some reds which indicate stress, appear among the green

Watch out for those reds:

High MDS:



When should irrigation start?


In the next couple of weeks, sugar production and water demand will gradually start to increase, indicated by a steady positive growth rate. With Phytech's sensors communicating trees' water-demand, MDS (Maximum Daily Shrinkage) and growth in real-time, identifying when the trees are waking up and should get some water - becomes a lot easier.