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AlmondBeat #2 2024: Nut Fill Strategies Guide

Spring is in full swing! During the months of April, May, and June, it's important to understand the significant impact that stress and lack of growth can have on your almond yield. To ensure your crop reaches its full potential, proactive monitoring and strategic interventions are essential. This guide will cover monitoring metrics, considerations, and strategies to address stress, weather changes, and heavy crop loads. Implementing these insights will protect your orchard's health and increase ROI while reducing risks.


During April, May, and June one red day or two orange days will decrease yield between 3% to 9%!


2024 AlmondBeat report #2 , let's grow!

Information provided by Phytech’s Head of Agronomy, Ziv Attia, PhD.


1. What to Monitor

Stress: Watch out for indications of stress, particularly if you notice oranges and reds, especially on consecutive days. 

Also, be cautious of dark greens, which can signal over-irrigation.


Weather: Stay informed about the weather forecast and reference Evapotranspiration (ETo) data regularly.


MDS: Monitor for increasing numbers.


Soil: Ensure soil moisture remains above the MAD threshold. Monitor deeper soil profiles closely to prevent leaching.


2. What to Consider

Irrigation: Implement more frequent irrigation sessions to maintain optimal MDS and growth, especially during consistent weather patterns. This practice also aids in reducing standing water, thus mitigating diseases like Alternaria. If faced with irrigation limitations, prioritize water as a preventative measure rather than a reactive one. Avoid over-irrigating to the point of inducing dark green foliage.


Kernel Weight: Understand that trees will prioritize the path of least resistance, often drawing water from nuts when stressed, thereby diminishing crop yield.


3. Why it Matters (ROI)

Implementing these practices yields a significant return on investment (ROI) by maintaining tree health, optimizing crop yield, and reducing water and disease management costs.


 

Heat Waves & Heavy Crop Loads

Similar to humans, trees require time to acclimate to changing weather conditions. Typically, the initial heat wave of the season induces stress in trees. Rather than panicking, prepare the trees by irrigating in anticipation of the impending heat wave.


This precaution becomes particularly crucial when there's a heavier-than-usual crop load on the trees. How to Make a Difference

In most cases, frequent irrigation and longer sets decrease the risk of higher stress levels and yield loss. 


Our goal is to detach the orchard from its atmospheric demand by supplying water to where and when it counts, maintaining steady MDS and growth even when weather is inconsistent. 


If there are irrigation constraints, water as a preventative rather than a reactive measure.


Checklist

In cases where a stressed block or ranch persists despite increasing water, consider the following checklist:


  • A. Assess if the crop is heavier than usual. Increased demand may be a factor.

  • B. Check for issues with the irrigation system. Ensure optimal pressures and uniform distribution.

  • C. Investigate for signs of pests or disease. Certain pests or diseases can hinder the tree's transpiration process.

  • D. Examine for nutrient deficiencies, such as low potassium or phosphorus, which can impact stress regulation.




Stay tuned for further updates in the 2024 AlmondBeat report.

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