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Episode 12: New Approaches to Pest Management and Irrigation with Leon Etchepare



Episode 12 of the Almond Journey Podcast takes listeners to Maxwell, California, about halfway between Sacramento and Redding. The conversation is with 4th generation farmer Leon Etchepare. Leon is a partner in Emerald Farms, which farms about 5,000 acres of almonds and walnuts. He shares some great experiences about how he’s adopting mating disruption technology for navel orangeworm, and how he’s using soil probes and variable rate irrigation.

Just doing the math on the cost of chemicals, diesel and equipment, and the increase of yield that I have because I'm not losing hardly any to navel orangeworm, it's a no brainer.
Leon Etchepare

In this episode:

  • Meet Leon Etchepare, a partner in Emerald Farms and owner of Wellnut Farms.
  • Learn about Leon’s experience with mating disruption technology and the return on investment he has seen from implementing this technology.
  • Discover how Leon is experimenting with variable rate irrigation on a block that is highly variable.
As an industry, we need to do a better job getting out why we do what we do – our stories and the challenges we face – so that when the voters are voting for certain people, those people think about farming because we're getting so far away from our food.
Leon Etchepare
ABC Update

Drew Wolter, pest management senior specialist at the Almond Board, shares how mating disruption can be a very important piece in an overall integrated pest management approach to navel orangeworm. Research from the Almond Board of California has led to several resources for growers to learn more about this technology. Watch the video below produced in collaboration with the University of California Cooperative Extension explaining mating disruption technologies.

The Almond Journey Podcast is brought to you by the Almond Board of California. This show explores how growers, handlers, and other stakeholders are making things work in their operations to drive the almond industry forward. Host Tim Hammerich visits with leaders throughout the Central Valley of California and beyond who are finding innovative ways to improve their operations, connect with their communities, and advance the almond industry.

ABC recognizes the diverse makeup of the California almond industry and values contributions offered by its growers, handlers, and allied industry members. However, the opinions, services and products discussed in existing and future podcast episodes are by no means an endorsement or recommendation from ABC. The Almond Journey podcast is not an appropriate venue to express opinions on national, state, local or industry politics. As a Federal Marketing Order, the Almond Board of California is prohibited from lobbying or advocating on legislative issues, as well as setting field and market prices