Pistachios Crop Is Big for and Off Year

Pistachios Off-Year Crop Comes in Big this Season

 

By Patrick Cavanaugh, Editor

  Pistachios are alternate bearing, meaning one year a heavy crop, the next year a lighter crop. But this year, an off-year came in very strong, according to Richard Matoian,  President of American Pistachio Growers. “It came as a surprise to everyone that this crop for 2021 is as large as it is. We certainly don’t have the final numbers in, but everyone is expecting it to end up somewhere between 1.15 to 1.2 billion pounds, which would be larger than the record crop we had in 2020, which was just over a billion pounds,” noted Matoian.

Matoian said they’ll have a better picture of this new crop in the next few weeks. And we asked Matoian what the theory is, what could cause this off-year crop to be such an on-year volume of crop? “So, what we saw in 2021 is that the individual nut size is smaller, and that has to do with the warm spring that we had and in some of the hot weather conditions, probably the lack of water in many of the growing areas as well. But despite the smaller-sized nuts, the trees produced at a pretty high level,” explained Matoian.

Matoian said he’s been talking to growers about it. “Growers in the on-year in 2020, didn’t have as large an on-year crop, and so that’s why we think that the trees just had enough capacity to produce at pretty high levels this year,” he noted. And of course, adding to the increased production was thousands a new acres of pistachio crop coming into production this year.

2021-11-17T06:25:27-08:00November 17th, 2021|

PMA and United Fresh Join Forces for International Assoc.

 

PMA and  United Launch International Fresh Produce Association

 

PMA and United Fresh leaders provided a series of updates for the new association named International Fresh Produce Association. Co-CEOs of the new association Cathy Burns and Tom Stenzel were joined by executive committee members to share details, including the board of directors. Selecting and recruiting the board of directors was one of the first responsibilities of the newly announced executive committee.

“I’m excited to have the opportunity to lead and collaborate with this board of directors,” said Bruce Taylor, chair of the new organization and CEO of Taylor Farms. “This group, in partnership with staff, will help set the strategic tone and direction as we deliver against the seven strategic priorities shared when the new organization was announced in March. I can’t wait to get started.”

Building on a combined history of strong volunteer leadership, the board of directors will work in partnership with an experienced staff at the new association to provide guidance and expertise for industry members across the produce and floral supply chains.

“In assembling this board of directors, we sought to strike a balance of those individuals who had strong prior experience from serving on United and PMA volunteer groups as well as emerging leaders who will bring new perspectives and insights to drive the new organization forward and create solutions to address industry challenges,” said Danny Dumas, UFPA chair and president of Courchesne Larose USA Inc.

When the new association was announced, PMA and United Fresh also shared the strategic commitments that will be the core priorities of the new association launching in January 2022.  Developed by board leaders from both associations, these priorities include a commitment to all sectors of the fresh produce and floral supply chains; a commitment to growing demand and profitability; and a commitment to global engagement.  These priorities also were key to driving the selection and organization of the new board.

“Because the new organization will reflect global fresh produce and floral communities, the new board is organized to represent the many businesses we’ll serve in coming years as we work together to help our members prosper,” said Dwight Ferguson, PMA chair and president and CEO of the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation.

2021-11-10T08:53:30-08:00November 10th, 2021|

Farm Credit: Water for Food is Critical

Cultivate California Educates Residents About Farms’ Need For Water

Exceptional drought conditions mean Farm Credit’s support is crucial, as reminding people about link between water and their food is more important than ever

California is in the middle of one of its worst droughts on record. The federal government reports that showed that nearly half of the state – including the entire Central Valley – is in an exceptional drought as of mid-October. Overall, 2021 has been the ninth driest year in California since accurate records began being kept 127 years ago. Shasta Lake, the state’s largest reservoir, is at 23% of capacity and Lake Oroville, the second-largest reservoir, is at 22% of capacity.

No one knows how long these dry conditions will last, but the most recent drought lasted for 376 weeks, from December 2011 to March 2019. And the National Weather Service currently forecasts that drought conditions are likely to continue in California as a weak La Niña effect will likely see storms diverted to the Pacific Northwest this winter. And all of that is bad news for California agriculture.

Which is why Cultivate California’s program aimed at educating Californians about the connection between consumers, the food they love and the water needed to grow it is so important as its messaging reaches 16 million people a year.

Mike Wade, the program’s executive director, said getting out early this year with messaging about water was essential to counter messaging from other groups.

“Californians continue to get inundated with negative messages about farming,” Wade said. “The Cultivate California program was designed to help bolster the natural support people have for agriculture and farms and to continue providing them with facts and information about the connection between their food and the water supply.”

The need to counter misinformation about farmers’ use of water is why Farm Credit has been one of the program’s largest donors since 2018, said Curt Hudnutt, president and CEO of American AgCredit.

American AgCredit, along with CoBank, Colusa-Glenn Farm Credit, Farm Credit West, Fresno Madera Farm Credit, Golden State Farm Credit and Yosemite Farm Credit, collectively contribute $100,000 a year to help Cultivate California inform Californians. The organizations are part of the nationwide Farm Credit System – the largest provider of credit to U.S. agriculture.

“This year, many California farms had just 5% of their water supply this year to grow our food,” Hudnutt said. “Cultivate California is one of the most successful groups we have to educate people about the impacts the drought has on our food supply, and the need to improve our water storage to protect all of us in future droughts, and we are proud to help support them in their efforts.”

Wade said one important message this year is that farmers and irrigation districts need to have flexibility to transfer water supplies to areas in greater need without burdensome red tape. And he said improving the state’s water supply system is crucial.

“We need to look long-term, which we should have done after the last drought,” he said. “Eighteen trillion gallons of water fell in February 2019 when the last drought ended, but we didn’t have the facilities to capture it and recharge our groundwater so we would have more supply available now. Hopefully our leaders will act so next time a drought occurs we will be better prepared.”

Rob Faris, President and CEO, Golden State Farm Credit, said it’s essential that more Californians are exposed to one of Cultivate California’s key messages – that the state’s farmers are producing more food but using much less water.

“The value of the state’s farm production increased by 38% between 1980 and 2015 while our farmers used 14% less water,” Faris said. “Farmers continually invest in irrigation technology, such as new drip and micro-irrigation systems, soil moisture monitoring, remote sensing, and computerized irrigation controls. Today, nearly half of our 8.4 million acres of irrigated farmland use drip, micro or subsurface irrigation, and more savings are on the way. Farm Credit is committed to help our members finance these improvements.”

Wade said Farm Credit’s support has been invaluable.

“The support we get from Farm Credit is amazing and critically important,” he said. “It has helped attract other supporters as well, and the support and leadership we get from Farm Credit has been instrumental in helping this program succeed.”

2021-11-09T17:50:30-08:00November 9th, 2021|

Mario Santoyo: We Need Strong Water Leaders

A Conversation with Mario Santoyo

Mario Santoyo is the executive director of the Latino Water Coalition. He is also a civil engineer and serves as VP of Clean Water and Jobs for California, a Non-Profit representing primary water, business, environmental and Ag stakeholders. And since 1986, he has served as the Assistant General Manager of Friant Water Authority.

 

Patrick Cavanaugh: Looking back on Prop 1, which the voters passed in 2014? Thinking about the fact that we passed that, how much money was allocated? How many billions of dollars for storage?

Mario Santoyo: It was about $3 billion for storage.

Cavanaugh: And, of course, that money was used to get some storage going, right?

Santoyo:  Yes. Right.

Cavanaugh: And very little of that’s been used, I guess. Maybe Sites Reservoir is getting some funding, right?

 

temperance flat dam

Mario Santoyo

Santoyo: Well, Sites theoretically were to get a little bit, but they are having significant difficulty getting environmental permits to do anything. So, if it’s not one thing, it’s another that keeps big surface water projects from moving forward. There’s way too much influence in what I would call the administrations because the governor, whether they admit it or not, has a whole lot of pull in terms of how their agencies work. So, if the messaging is such that these big projects are not a very high priority because of the environmental issues, they do not move forward.

Cavanaugh:  We live, and that is the state where our rain and snow events are feast or famine. We have dry and wet years, and this has always been the narrative of why we must have the infrastructure on the wet years to get through the famine years. And yet, we are just coming out of the severe year of low water allocations because of the lack of rain and snow and empty reservoirs at the beginning of this season. However, the massive cyclone storm that battered California in late October brought in record rain and snow. So it’s another reminder that we need more storage for more rain and snow that may still come.

 Santoyo: The unfortunate fact is that the environmental community has made it a priority for there not to be any new dams or water storage in general, particularly here in California. And they have had a tremendous amount of influence with the legislature, so it keeps them from facilitating any actual funding and or process to build dams. But what’s exceedingly sad is that I think we’re losing the leadership skills in our water agencies.

The leaders that existed during my day were such that they were willing to take the hard road to try to make new surface storage projects even though any time they would do that, they would be hit and criticized because of many things, including the cost of the dam and so forth. But it didn’t stop those folks that made those critical decisions when they pushed for building Shasta, San Luis, Oroville, Friant, and others… They had the same issues then, but they had the willingness and the guts to move forward.

Cavanaugh: Yes, They had real grit back then.

Santoyo: Today, we have guys that want to take the easy road where they shoot for things that are easier to attain but have no long-term benefit, not significant benefit, and that’s what I see happening in these more recent times. And so, in a way, I’m kind of glad that I no longer am in the key water agency role because I don’t think I could stomach it anymore.

I was always very proud that we were doing our best for the farmers because the farmers depend on leadership by those who represent them. But, unfortunately, I don’t see that anymore. I see just everybody throwing their hands up, waving the white flag, and saying: groundwater, that’s the way we’re going to put our focus. Well, no, that’s where the environmentalists have always pushed because that’s the way that you can justify not building surface storage.

But these years, when we have an excessive amount of water, I can guarantee you that most of it is going to the ocean, and it’s not going to groundwater. And so it’s a sad situation. So, I wish things would change. But, I’m not sure how that’s going to happen, other than for the general public to rise up and say, “Hey, we need it, and we don’t care what people say. It’s common sense, and we need to do something for our future generations.”

Cavanaugh: Well, Mario, how much outrage does the public need to change something?

Santoyo: Well, I’m entirely frustrated because I started focusing on building Temperance Flat around. 2001.

Cavanaugh:  20 years ago?

Santoyo: In 2001 and there were many things we did in terms of funding for studies and getting things lined up so that when the opportunity came about, it did. In 2006 and 2007, the opportunity came about when both Senator Cogdill and Governor Schwarzenegger decided that they were going to push for surface storage. We took full advantage of that and helped facilitate the legislation passed in 2009 and eventually became the Water Bond in 2014, and there was funding. It took a long time, And it took a whole lot of effort, but that’s what it takes. There’s no shortcut to it, but unfortunately, there’s no willingness by existing water agency leaders anymore to take the that hard road. They’re very focused on what the environmentalists want, the easy road, but that easy road doesn’t get you what you need.

Cavanaugh: What about our congressmen?

Santoyo: The unfortunate situation is that Republicans haven’t had leadership roles because they haven’t been in the majority most of the time. And so, when they did have an opportunity to advance something through the Trump administration, they didn’t take full advantage of it.

It got sidelined with other controversial issues, and building surface storage did not rise to a priority, and so then the Trump years came and went. And now we’re back to administrations that don’t see storage as a big priority.

Cavanaugh: And that is even added frustration. Mario, with all this in mind and the political nature of California, SGMA, no additional storage for the wet years. What do you think the long-term is for California agriculture?

Santoyo: This is what I predict.  Right now, these water agency leaders who are pushing groundwater projects in lieu of service storage projects will end up getting in trouble when the farmers start realizing that their wells are going to be cut off because they have no surface water to replace the groundwater they’re taking, because we don’t have adequate surface storage.

Cavanaugh: Exactly.

Santoyo: That’s when the reality hits, and that’s what we’ve always argued, is that it’s not a matter of whether you need surface water or groundwater, you need both, but you need both of them to make each other work. And so that’s the part of the equation the environmentalists have always left off is that you don’t need surface storage for groundwater. Well, that’s completely wrong. SGMA will make that clear, but by the time it gets clear, it’ll be too late. The farmers will be cut off on their water, and then there’s not much to do.

Cavanaugh: It’s tough for many growers to rely only on groundwater. I mean, I’ve constantly been pushing out that the only solution to SGMA is surface water.

Santoyo: Absolutely, it’s not a complicated formula. But again, it all comes back down to that water leaders have to have some guts to go down the hard road and be open to criticism and keep pushing. But, unfortunately, right now, we don’t have those kinds of leaders anymore.

And that’s a sad statement. Because in my years in the water agencies, I was fortunate to be exposed to many strong leaders in the water agency business. Those days are over. We don’t have that anymore.

Cavanaugh: We used to have farmer-friendly board members on the California Water Board.

Santoyo: Absolutely, there’s no question about it. And this is now changing, and it’s driven by environmentalists that have found the magic ways of getting everybody to re-prioritize what should be done. Including, unfortunately, these water agency leaders. When I hear these guys talk about, “Oh, we have the perfect plan. It’s going to be groundwater projects,” I’m just shaking my head thinking, it’s unbelievable….

Cavanaugh: These groundwater projects. The water leaders are focused on that?

Santoyo: That’s right, and that’s the sad part of it, is that the farmers are depending on the leadership of these water agency leaders. And that’s a sad statement for me to be making because I was a water agency guy for such a long time, but that’s also is why I can say it because I was there when we had leadership.

I don’t know what you call these new generation guys. I guess they’re expecting somebody to give them the easy road. And you can never get anything worthwhile by going down an easy road.

 

 

 

2021-11-08T09:35:21-08:00November 8th, 2021|

Specialty Crops Funding Gets $54.5 Million

California Agriculture Leads the Nation in Funding for Specialty Crops

 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced funding for the 2021 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP). California received $54.5 million, including $31.6 million in stimulus funding to address impacts of COVID-19 and promote economic recovery, out of approximately $169.9 million awarded nationwide.

The SCBGP provides grants to state departments of agriculture to fund projects that enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops, defined as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops (including floriculture).

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) will fund approximately 100 projects, awarding grants ranging from $50,000 to $5 million to non-profit and for-profit organizations, government entities, and colleges and universities. Abstracts of the funded projects are available here: https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/Specialty_Crop_Competitiveness_Grants/pdfs/2021_SCBGP_Abstracts_FarmBill.pdf

These projects focus on increasing sales of specialty crops by leveraging the unique qualities of specialty crops grown in California; increasing consumption by expanding the specialty crop consumer market, improving availability, and providing nutritional education for consumers; training growers to equip them for current and future challenges; investing in training for growers/producers/operators to address current and future challenges, including impacts and adaption to COVID-19; and conducting research on conservation and environmental outcomes, pest control and disease, and organic and sustainable production practices.

Additionally, CDFA focused on first-time recipients with technical assistance and grants to organizations that support beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers, including urban farmers, and/or promote increased access or nutrition education in underserved communities throughout California.

CDFA continues its partnership with the Center for Produce Safety in the evaluation and recommendation of food safety related projects. These projects represent an ongoing effort to address food safety practices and minimize outbreaks of foodborne illness with proactive

2021-11-04T23:21:14-07:00November 2nd, 2021|

AB 1346 Seen As Stepping Stone

 

Small Engine Ban Puts Cart Before the Horse

 

By Mike Stephens with the Ag Information Network

 

California will ban “small off-road engines” (SORE) primarily used in gas-powered lawn equipment, such as leaf blowers and lawnmowers, in a law signed by Governor Gavin Newsom.

The bill, AB 1346, directs California’s Air Resources Board to draw up regulations that will go into place by 2024. It bans the sale of new SOREs, but does not seem to ban their operation.

The law will apply not only to gas-powered lawn equipment, but also to generators and emergency response equipment and other assorted categories. The bill does give regulators some leeway with the regulations based on what is found to be “technologically feasible,” so some portions of the regulation may be pushed back beyond 2024.

However, the California small engine ban law seems to be getting the cart before the horse.

Ryan Jacobsen, CEO of the Fresno County Farm Bureau explains how alternatives are not in place to switch from small engines and discusses the frustrations

“We understand the target of the bill. But on the flip side, not having readily available alternatives in place is probably the most or is the most concerning part of this bill. This is not the first time California has done something like this, and it’s just a frustration from us on the user end because here we’re left holding the bag of trying to find alternatives that may not come to fruition by that point.

“And again, this is worth noting for this particular issue. In California agriculture, with the exception of SGMA, there’s none of these laws and regulations individually are going to undo our farm operations, but it’s death by a thousand cuts and this is another one of those cuts,” said Jacobsen.

This could be a stepping stone to regulate other large equipment utilized on farms and ranches.

“Well, we’re already there,” said Jacobsen. We’re already in the process of working on that as well. This is one of those stepping stones you know you’re going to see eventually down the road.  Regulators are going after bigger engines, as well as other types of gas operated gas powered types of equipment,” explained Jacobsen.

 

 

2021-11-02T09:48:42-07:00November 2nd, 2021|

Organic Farming and Tillage

Is Tillage a Problem for Organic Agriculture?

By Tim Hammerich, with the Ag Information Network

 

Certified organic farmers often have to incorporate tillage to make up for the chemical tools that they’re not allowed to use. So does this mean organic agriculture is not compatible with building soil health?

“There are other preventative means that organic farmers use: diverse crop rotations, cover crops. And a lot of the strategies that we now know are fundamental to building soil health more generally,” said University of Wisconsin-Madison Assistant Professor Erin Silva. “So when we look at the bigger picture, we’re also adopting a lot of strategies that we know build soil health. So when we look at the five soil health principles, organic is really hitting most, if not all of those, depending on the system and the strategies that the farmers are adopting,” noted Silva, adding. “Organic agriculture was built on soil health principles and is helping farmers find ways to decrease soil disturbance where possible.”

“In organic production the use of herbicides is quite limited. There are some organically approved herbicides, but because of their effectiveness and costs, they’re very rarely used. So, one of the strategies to manage weeds in organic systems is through tillage. Either primary tillage prior to planting or cultivation, which also is disturbing the soil,” said Silva.

Silva said a lot of organic farmers also incorporate livestock for weed control and soil health.

2021-10-27T08:52:47-07:00October 27th, 2021|

Walnut Freeze Update

Growers Urged to Keep Soil Moist to Lessen Freeze Damage

By Rachel Elkins, Pomology Farm Advisor in Lake and Mendocino Counties and Master Gardener Advisor in Lake County – Emeritus

It is mid-October and in addition to harvest starting it is time to consider potential cold weather. It is still dry and though rain is expected (In Northern California) over the next 10-14 days it is anticipated to be under 1” (I hope I am wrong!). As detailed in my June newsletter (https://ucanr.edu/sites/uclakecounty/files/359649.pdf), dry conditions render walnut trees vulnerable to freeze damage, as can be seen throughout the county. Irrigated trees fare much better than dry trees, although fruitwood and buds are certainly damaged, as reflected in subsequent low cropping.

In June I suggested growers consider applying enough water to moisten the upper 1-2 feet of soil after terminal bud set in order to fill soil pores to supply warmth and reduce chances of freeze damage, and this is echoed by colleagues throughout the state. With harvest moving into full swing timing will of course depend on 1) harvest logistics, and 2) rainfall amounts over the next month. Many older orchards lack sufficient crop to harvest and growers must decide how much to invest in trees that failed to recover after the 2020 freeze.

Statewide UC walnut advisors have combined to offer resources to address fall (winter) freeze issues. We have listed the following resources prominently on the front page of our website (http://celake.ucanr.edu/):

1)      2020 WALNUT FREEZE DAMAGE SURVEY (https://ucanr.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_8q4drAbdgNJ4Nls). You are invited to participate in this survey provided by University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) regarding freeze damage in walnuts. The survey will help us gain greater understanding of freeze damage in walnuts. “Freeze damage” is defined as damage observed in spring yet incurred during the previous fall from cold temperatures below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Participation in this survey is voluntary and individual answers will be kept confidential. The survey should require two minutes or less to complete. Address questions or comments to main author Kari Arnold, Orchard and Vineyard Systems Advisor for Stanislaus County (klarnold@ucanr.edu 209-525-6821) or to me via the contact information below.

2)      NEWSLETTER ARTICLES written by Sacramento and San Joaquin Valley advisors, as well as my June 2021 newsletter. Links to these can be found on our website (see above).

3)      UC WALNUT FREEZE WEBINAR to be held NOVEMBER 4, 2021, 4:00 – 5:30 PM.  A panel of UC experts and walnut growers will discuss best practices for freeze mitigation and recovery. Event details and registration will be posted at sacvalleyorchards.com/events as well as on the Lake County website. Meeting information will also be emailed out to electronic walnut newsletter recipients. PLEASE COMPLETE THE FREEZE SURVEY IN ORDER TO ENHANCE OUR WEBINAR!

2021-10-20T13:24:49-07:00October 20th, 2021|

Reinventing the Drone

Drones for Spraying Are Evolving

By Tim Hammerich with the Ag Information Network

When Precision AI set out to start a drone spraying company, they knew they’d need to develop the software, but thought the hardware would be available off the shelf.

McCann… “When we started this process, it was sorta like, well, there’s gotta be drones out there that can do this. And we found out very quickly that to be able to do everything we needed to do there really wasn’t. And so we actually ended up having to build our own drone,” said Precision AI CEO Daniel McCann.

McCann… “Subsequent to that, another company came out with a drone that was powerful enough to do what we want to do. And we’re like, hallelujah, we don’t have to be a drone manufacturer. And so we switched to their platform and sort of hot-rodded that that platform, and then found a whole pile of other problems. And so we’ve kind of come full circle again. We’ve come back to designing our own drone for this particular application.”

As if that wasn’t enough of a challenge, McCann and his team also needed to design a new camera to get to the resolution they needed.

McCann… “In order to be able to properly differentiate between plants, you need to see like some millimeter resolution and none of these drone platforms can do that. They’re all meant to fly 400 feet up in the air and get these wide, broad brush views of your field. Not enough to differentiate between plant species. And just lowering them doesn’t really work. The number of inventions we had to string together to try to achieve this vision was actually, you know, if I want to do it all over again, with the eyes that I have now, it was a bit crazy.”

McCann thinks the hard work will pay off resulting in the most effective drone sprayer on the market.

2021-10-19T17:23:35-07:00October 19th, 2021|

Almond Farmers Honored for Pollinator Protection

North American Pollinator Protection Campaign Honors Almond Farmers of California

Special award given only when a group does exceptional work protecting pollinators

 

The North American Pollinator Protection Campaign (NAPPC) on Tuesday presented its Business for Bees Sustainability Award – an honor reserved for standout organizations that go above and beyond to support pollinators – to the Almond Board of California (ABC) and the state’s almond farmers.

“This is about their long-term dedication to supporting all pollinators in their orchards and throughout our ecosystem,” said Kelly Rourke, executive director of Pollinator Partnership, which founded NAPPC 21 years ago. “We’ve worked with them for many years and this is well-deserved recognition of their steadfast commitment to engaging farmers in pollinator conservation on multiple levels. The Almond Board and the entire almond industry have really moved the needle to raise awareness and generate action to protect pollinators.”

NAPPC has only given out its Business for Bees Sustainability Award once before. It is given in years when there is a business taking extra special steps to protect bees and all pollinators and to advance sustainability and innovation.

“ABC’s name is on this award, but it really goes to the 7,600 almond farmers in California,” said Josette Lewis, ABC’s chief scientific officer. “Farmers understand how important pollinators are to growing almonds and to all of agriculture and the environment. They want to be part of the solution.”

The reasons for the award, Rourke said, include ABC’s leadership in founding the California Pollinator Coalition, its work promoting on-farm pollinator habitat and its support of years of research and education about the best practices for providing hospitable environments for pollinators in almond orchards and in other habitats.

ABC worked with Pollinator Partnership and the California Department of Food and Agriculture last spring to create the California Pollinator Coalition (CPC) which brought together a broad array of grower organizations across the state’s ag and environmental landscape to help promote the health of wild and managed pollinators.

“The formation of the California Pollinator Coalition was such a big step,” said Laurie Davies Adams, Pollinator Partnership’s Director of Programs, who helped found the CPC. “This is a unique statewide coalition that brings together every grower, farmer and rancher group. I don’t think that’s ever happened before. It’s going to make a real difference on the ground.”

NAPPC is a collaboration of diverse partners from the U.S., Mexico and Canada. It includes respected scientists, researchers, business people, conservationists and government officials.

NAPPC works to promote awareness and scientific understanding of pollinators, to find common ground for solutions and to create innovative initiatives that benefit pollinators.

NAPPC is administered and supported by Pollinator Partnership, a non-profit headquartered in San Francisco with a mission to promote the health of pollinators through education, conservation and research.

The award was announced during NAPPC’s 21st Annual International Conference, held virtually this year for the second time and hosted by the Pollinator Partnership and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. The conference and award ceremony were planned for the Smithsonian before being forced to remain virtual because of COVID-19.

Rourke and Adams said they would have liked to have given the honor in person to show how much they appreciate ABC’s work.

“The strong effort that the Almond Board of California has mounted with the support of the almond industry to engage farmers and the entire agricultural community far beyond almond orchards is really impressive,” Adams said. “Bringing every grower group together to have an agriculturally-led coalition for pollinators is significant. It will provide building blocks for even more engagement and large results. It’s a pioneering effort that other states are seeking to emulate.”

“This is an outstanding honor for our farmers,” Lewis said, “especially considering all the good work that NAPPC and the Pollinator Partnership do. As much as anyone, almond farmers are tuned in to the importance of pollinators to their crops and our ecosystem. That’s why they work so hard to make their orchards healthy places for pollinators.”

Almond farmers across California’s Central Valley sit in what is essentially a flyway for pollinators. In recent years, almond farmers have applied to certify more than 110,000 acres of Bee Friendly Farming®, providing pollinator habitat and integrated pest management across the valley to keep that flyway healthy and create badly needed floral resources that compliment and expand beyond the annual almond bloom.

“Almond farmers have doubled the number of acres of bee friendly habit in California and in that pollinator flyway,” Lewis said. “We’re proud to help lead a broad coalition of agriculture and conservation groups to work together to promote and preserve habitat for pollinators.”

 

2021-10-19T14:59:00-07:00October 19th, 2021|
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