Sustainable Growing Overview

A vital, healthy almond industry is dependent on using management practices best adapted to the local conditions to sustain almond production and growth for the next generation of growers. Growing almond trees requires a longer-term vision, and sustainable farming practices have long been used by California’s almond growers, or the industry would not have thrived as it has for multiple generations.

California Almond Sustainability Program

The California Almond Sustainability Program (CASP) follows a natural progression of some 40 years of research efforts by the Almond Board of California (ABC) to help almond growers be good stewards of the land. The ABC research program was initiated to develop tools for almond growers to reduce populations of and resulting damage from their primary insect pest: navel orangeworm. An integrated pest management program evolved from the research; as a result, navel orangeworm damage was reduced significantly. The successful implementation by almond growers relied on grower education.

The California Almond Sustainability Program is based on knowledge gained from research and experience. It uses a self-assessment process to document almond growers’ and handlers’ thoughtfulness and achievements in adopting cost-effective, environmentally and socially responsible farming practices. The modules have been designed by peer growers and handlers, university experts and other authorities, covering efficient irrigation management, nutrient management, air quality, groundwater quality, energy efficiency, ecosystem, financial management and pest management. Participation is voluntary; assessment information is maintained in a database and individual responses are confidential.

The program provides additional value to participating almond growers and handlers through personalized sustainability reports, enabling them to compare their practices to those of their peers. Moreover, a grower- and handler-friendly online assessment and reporting system is available, which makes providing feedback easier.

Watch this brief "Join the California Almond Sustainability Program" video for an introduction to the California Almond Sustainability Program.

Click here to learn how to participate in CASP anytime, anywhere.


CASP Self-Assessments

The Almond Sustainability Program is dependent on voluntary participation. Growers who participate help the almond industry by providing the data to educate buyers and regulators and the public that almond growers and handlers are good stewards of the land and are considerate of neighbors and the consuming public. At the same time, it is an opportunity for a grower to reflect on the management of his or her operation.

By participating in this process, growers and handlers will be equipped to respond to the increasing focus of major almond buyers and regulators on the issue of sustainability. As a result, the Almond Board of California will be able to communicate sustainable almond farming in terms of practices that make practical and economic sense for our crop, geography and community.

To participate, almond growers can either complete the self-assessment online or take part in a workshop.

The results from these assessments, which are recorded collectively, are guiding research, education and outreach in the almond community and help to identify opportunities for additional improvement.

Currently available Almond Sustainability modules and modules under development are:

orkplaceExperts including farm advisors and Almond Board researchers will share the latest news and research at three consecutive workshops in the northern, central and southern almond growing regions. The first workshop at each location will focus on nutrients and water, the second on bee care and pest management and the final workshop will feature air quality and energy efficiency. - See more at:

Sustainability Program Online

Through the online system, you can now:

  • Complete modules at your convenience in the privacy of your home or office.
  • Apply for one continuing education unit (CEU) from California’s Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) by completing the Pest Management module.
  • Access your personal grower report to compare your growing practices to state averages of other growers who have filled out assessments.
  • Automatically fill in fields for new orchards that are managed similarly to those orchards that you have assessed in the past.
  • Complete the Nitrogen Modeling Calculator to identify and maximize the use efficiency of nitrogen in the orchard.

The various modules ask growers questions concerning their current practices as compared to a set of “best practices” identified by a committee of almond growers and other experts. All individual grower comments and responses are confidential. 

As almond growers fill out modules, at the same time they will be presented with related educational information on alternative practices that could increase their efficiency and/or decrease their environmental footprint, improving their bottom line and meeting environmental regulations.

Cycle of Continuous Improvement

As each module is completed and submitted, a report is generated and returned to the participant with the results of the self-assessment, a comparison of that grower’s performance with other participants as a percentage, and suggestions for improvement. Reports are strictly confidential and are shared only with the participant who filled out the module.


Getting Involved

CASP Workshops

A three-part series of sustainability workshops, part of the California Almond Sustainability Program (CASP), will bring forth tools, techniques and strategies to assist industry members with meeting current needs and future opportunities. 

Series 3: "In-the-Orchard" Harvest Practices and Equipment Demo - Click here to view flyer

  • July 7 - Fresno 
    • ​Fresno State Orchard Field House: Enter off of Chestnut Ave. 1/4 mile north of Barstow Ave. | Fresno, CA 93740
  • July 8 - Arbuckle
    • ​Nickels Soil Lab: Green Bay Road (Between Wildwood Rd. and California Ave.) | Arbuckle, CA 95912

      Topics will include:

  • Using CASP online tools to meet your growing needs
    • ​Nitrogen calculator, mapping, irrigation
  • Harvest equipment demonstration and discussion
    • View harvest equipment and learn how to best make adjustments to sweeper and harvester machines to match local conditions
  • ​Overview of research-based strategies to reduce harvest dust
    • Incentive funding for harvest equipment

Workshops begin at 8:30 a.m. and conclude by 12:00 p.m. Expert speakers include leadership from harvest equipment reps, farm managers and Almond Board staff and consultants. All workshops are free to attend and include a complimentary lunch. Attendees are encouraged to bring laptops, tablets or other electronic devices to demo tools onsite. Please RSVP to Rebecca at or 209-343-3245.

Workshop Presentations

Series 1: Water & Nitrogen Management

Series 2: Pest & Honey Bee Management

Series 3: Air & Energy Stewardship