It’s important that almond trees get all of the right nutritious food — including nitrogen — so they can produce the almond kernels that we all love to eat. Almond trees need nitrogen to form proteins, which in turn form protein-dense nuts.
The Four R’s of Nutrient Management in Almonds
Maximizing the use efficiency of applied nutrients in almonds will result in improved yields, reduced input costs and less potential for off-site movement into ground and surface water. Efficient nutrient management can be accomplished by following the Four R’s:
Applying at the right rate – Matching tree and crop demand with supply, taking into consideration the contribution of nutrients from all sources, including fertilizer, organic nitrogen, water and soil.
Applying at the right time – Spoon-fed applications during the growing season to maximize uptake and minimize loss potential.
Applying in the right place – To ensure delivery to the active root zone.
Using the right source – To maximize uptake and minimize loss potential.
The Nutrient Management module from the California Almond Sustainabilty Program also serves as a great additional resource for information.
An updated in-season nutrient budget model, including early-season leaf sampling guidelines, has been developed under the leadership of Patrick Brown, UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences. These guidelines are given in the document “Almond Early-Season Sampling and In-Season Nitrogen Application Maximizes Productivity, Minimizes Loss.” The guidelines include a protocol for early-season tissue sampling and for applying nitrogen during the season based on crop load and fine-tuned by sampling results for early-season tissue sampling and for applying nitrogen during the season based on crop load and fine-tuned by sampling results.