Almond growers encouraged to respect the environment

- Last updated on GMT

Almond growers need no longer worry about how to manage their crops
without damaging the environment or lowering their yields, thanks
to a recently published guide from the University of California.

The guide is aimed at helping almond growers make environmentally responsible pest management decisions without decreasing their yields or increasing their reject levels.

Researchers from the University of California spent five years working on the guide.

"Results show that extensive orchard monitoring is the key to success in controlling key pests and diseases. Reduced risk practices appear to be useful in controlling pests below economic damage levels,"​ said Chris Heintz, director of production research and the environment for the Almond Board of California.

The guide advocates that growers who want to manage pests in an environmentally friendly manner should take a seasonal approach. It therefore outlines steps growers should take in their orchard during each period of the year, noting that it is important to monitor for pests in the dormant period or early in the year before they reach levels that require treatment.

The publication, entitled Seasonal Guide to Environmentally Responsible Pest Management Practices in Almonds, was written by a team of authors, including UC integrated pest management (IPM) program advisors in the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys and UCCE farm advisors in Butte, Stanislaus and Kern.

The guide will be mailed to almond growers throughout the state and is available from the University of California​.

Researchers at Loma Linda University in California published a study in September extolling the excellent nutritional value of almonds after following eighty-one men and women for a year to evaluate the long-term impact of a diet supplemented with almonds.

After incorporating almonds into their diets, the researchers reported that the patients demonstrated a significant increase in their intake of several nutrients, including monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, dietary fiber, vitamin E and magnesium.

Moreover, they announced a decrease in patients' intake of trans fats, sodium, cholesterol and sugars.

"A daily supplement of almonds can induce favorable nutrient modifications for chronic disease prevention to an individual's habitual diet,"​ concluded the researchers.

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