To kick off its 46th annual announced a $6.8 million investment in 75 independent research projects supporting next-generation farming practices. These projects and the California almond community’s science-based approach help farmers and processors provide almond lovers around the world with a safe, wholesome and sustainable product., the Almond Board of California (ABC)
Almond community-funded research provides a scientific basis for responsible farming practices across several priority areas, including water sustainability, pollinator health and finding new uses for almond hulls and shells.
“Innovation is at the core of sustainable almond farming. Driven by family farmers, the almond community is committed to continuous improvement, ensuring a better environment and future for our children and grandchildren, neighbors and employees,” said Almond Board of California President and CEO, Richard Waycott. “Since 1973 almond farmers and processors have invested $80 million in research through the Almond Board to improve our understanding of almonds’ impact on human health, ensure food quality and safety, and improve farming practices while minimizing environmental impacts.”
Using Everything the Orchard Grows
California almond farmers have always taken responsibility for almond coproducts – including hulls, shells and woody biomass – ensuring they are put to beneficial use as things like livestock bedding and feed, rather than being sent to a landfill.
This year ABC funded nine coproducts-focused research projects totaling $1.2 million, focusing on new applications for these materials spanning from in-orchard utilization to value-added uses, embracing a zero-waste approach that addresses critical needs across multiple industries.
More Crop per Drop
To improve water sustainability, California almond farmers have been adopting precision irrigation technology and exploring the benefits of replenishing underground aquifers through on-farm groundwater recharge.
This year ABC invested $610,000 in nine research projects to enhance these water efficiency practices and make the most of every drop of water used. This builds upon more than 200 water research projects funded since 1982, helping farmers reduce the water needed to grow a pound of almonds by 33% over the past 20 years.1
Protecting our Pollinator Partners
To ensure the safety of honey bees – the almond community’s essential pollination partners – almond farmers work closely with beekeepers and follow research-based best practices.
This year ABC funded seven honey bee health projects with an investment of $579,000. In total the almond community has supported 120 honey bee health research projects to date, more than any other crop group.2
This year’s research projects include optimizing the approach to planting and managing bee pastures, which supplement the pollen from almond blossoms and provide additional nutrition to honey bees and other nearby pollinators.
For more information about this year’s research investment, click here.
Each research project is funded through an assessment paid per pound of almonds produced. After review by research advisors and workgroups focused on distinct almond farming topics, projects are selected by a committee of almond farmers and processors based on strategic alignment to industry needs and anticipated impact of the research.
1University of California, 2010. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2012. Almond Board of California, 1990-94, 2000-14.
2Gene Brandi. Vice President, American Beekeeping Federation.