Almond Board Goal: More Crop Per Drop of Water

By Patrick Cavanaugh, with the AgInfo Network 

Jossett Lewis has Chief Scientific Officer with the Almond Board of California. And this is a big goal of the Almond Board more efficiency in water use for almonds.

“We’re tackling this from two directions. One is to improve irrigation efficiency and to get more crop per drop,” said Lewis. “So our goal of decreasing the amount of water by 20% needed to grow a pound of almonds is our Orchard 2025 goal in this area. And we’ll focus attention on how to improve the efficiency of operating irrigation systems. We’ve had really great adoption already of high efficiency systems like micro sprinklers and drip,” she said.

And the almond board is funding research and doing grower outreach to find out when an almond tree actually needs the water.

“We have a goal of more precise timing of the application of that water, which can pay off, particularly in getting more yield for the same amount of water,” Lewis said. “A large part of achieving that goal is actually improving the efficiency of how we time irrigation so that it matches up closely with the needs that the tree, so we can get more yield for the same amount of water. So that’s an area of continued work and a lot of outreach,” Lewis explained.