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Episode 22: Fertilizer Strategies with Devin Clarke


Devin Clarke has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to crop fertility and is conducting some interesting trials at YARA’s Incubator Farm. The farm consists of 40 acres that they lease from an almond grower to compare various full season nutrition management strategies. In this episode, Clarke discusses what they’re learning at the incubator farm, what’s going on with the volatile fertilizer market, and what insights he can share that might help growers get the most out of their fertility programs.

If you're able to generate a more consistent year over year net return by employing a strategy that is focused on crop demand and uptake, then it's going to put you in a better position long-term to be able to cover some of (your) fixed costs.
Devin Clarke

Clarke began his career as a pest control advisor (PCA) with a local independent ag retailer. He soon found his biggest interest was on the agronomic side of the business and was attracted to YARA’s focus on nature-positive solutions. Clarke is also a graduate of the Almond Leadership Program and the chair of the Almond Board’s Strategic Ag Innovation Committee.

In Today’s episode:
  • Meet, Devin Clarke, YARA North America permanent crops manager
  • Learn about Clarke’s journey to managing trials at the YARA Incubator Farm and the many strategies they are testing to improve the nutrition to trees and increase yields for producers
  • Explore what Clarke means by “on-demand feeding” for the trees and the impact this research can make on input needs and yield values
  • Discover if there are ways to help weather a volatile fertilizer market and maximize your investment
You're working with this unknown element of the soil, and you're trying to figure out how to not only get materials applied in a way that is most accessible to the plant, but also going to provide the most value to the plant…it's a rapidly growing space. And so that's where I've found a lot of interest in exploring that more and essentially turning that into a career.
Devin Clarke
ABC Update

One of the trickier aspects to dialing in your fertilizer program is yield estimation. Almond Board of California Associate Director for Agricultural Research Sebastian Saa says yield estimation is a critical variable in determining your crops nitrogen needs. He says yield estimation, like any prediction, is not an exact science. It takes effort and often experience to do well. Saa notes that yield estimation me be even more critical this year given the high cost of fertilizer and weather events earlier in the season that may have impacted production.

For more information about this or any of the topics we discuss on this podcast, reach out to the Almond Board’s Field Outreach Team directly at

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.