California Almond Sustainability Program
Sustainability is about ensuring that people, profit and the planet are all considered while conducting daily business. A definition of sustainability specific to almonds based on this basic definition was developed with almond growers and almond handlers in 2005, and subsequently adopted by the Board of Directors of the Almond Board of California. It reads: Sustainable almond farming utilizes production practices that are economically viable and are based upon scientific research, common sense and a respect for the environment, neighbors and employees. The result is a plentiful, nutritious and safe food product.
Building Confidence in Our Industry and Ourselves
Growers who participate in the California Almond Sustainability Program (CASP) make a significant contribution to the reputation of California Almonds by demonstrating the sustainability of the California Almond industry to stakeholders — buyers, regulators and consumers.
At the same time, by assessing their practices, growers can discover ways to add efficiency and profitability to their operations.
What’s more, CASP offers free online productivity tools, such as the Nitrogen Calculator, Irrigation Calculator and Mapping Tool.
Through the CASP online portal, SustainableAlmondGrowing.org, you can complete self-assessment modules, learn about alternative and best practices, and utilize the free decision support tools, while at the same time meeting certain regulatory requirements.
How do I Participate?
Go to SustainableAlmondGrowing.org:
- If you already have an account, sign in using your credentials, or click on “I forgot” (next to “Username”) and/or click on “I forgot” (next to “Password”) to retrieve them.
- For new users, click on “Create Account” and fill in the form to receive a username and password.
With your credentials, log in to the site to begin using the tools, filling in the modules and telling your story.
This service is free and secure. The data you enter is saved for you to update as needed, but never shared. Data from the self-assessment modules is only reported in aggregate to document industry-wide statistics — and as a way for you to compare your practices to other almond growers through a comparison tool. There is also a cloning tool so you can document a similar orchard’s practices without re-entering all the data or an orchard’s practices across years.
What You Will Find
Interactive tools. Designed to streamline both crop input decision-making and regulatory reporting requirements:
- Nitrogen calculator. A research-based predictive model, this tool advises how much and when to apply fertilizer nitrogen to meet yield-based demand. All you have to do is enter yield estimates (starting with a prebloom and, ideally, returning to enter a postbloom yield estimate that will further refine the nitrogen (N) demand during the growing season), early-season tissue sampling results, and other factors necessary to account for N credits from other sources like groundwater and cover crops. With that, you’ll learn your crop’s nitrogen demand for the growing season as well as generate the Nitrogen Management Plan report required by the Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program (ILRP).
- Mapping tool. Draw boundaries of your fields and provide APN numbers to create the map report, as required by Part D of the ILRP Farm Evaluation Plan.
- Irrigation calculator. Generate irrigation run-time schedules that advise the amount and timing of irrigations, based on local evapotranspiration and information about your individual orchard and irrigation system. Linked to your nearest CIMIS station, this tool automatically integrates current weather information, allowing you to better calculate your orchard’s irrigation water requirement.
Self-assessment modules. Learn while you assess with modules that cover the spectrum of almond-growing practices.
The modules are:
- Irrigation Management
- Nutrient Management
- Energy Efficiency
- Air Quality
- Pest Management
- Financial Management
- Ecosystem Management
- Workplace and Community
In-field workshops are held throughout the Central Valley with the state’s leading experts on production practices and other matters of significant interest to almond growers. Attend a workshop near you to learn about the latest production techniques and tools, regulatory updates and financial incentives.
Want to learn more about the California Almond Sustainability Program? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org. For questions about SustainableAlmondGrowing.org or the online portal, contact email@example.com.
The information on this page is also available as a downloadable factsheet. Click here to get it.