Crop Protection PCA Tools Pest Control Advisers (PCAs) play a vital role in and are trusted, reliable members of the California almond industry. As the industry looks to achieve its Almond Orchard 2025 Goal of increasing adoption of environmentally friendly pest management tools by 25%, growers will look to the Almond Board and PCAs for guidance on how to implement an approach of proven cultural practices, alternatives to sprays (when possible), precision application and reduced spray drift. PCAs will play an integral role in advising growers on these measures and supporting their steps to grow their crop in better, safer and healthier ways. Partnership with CAPCA To further support PCAs, the Almond Board of California (ABC) and California Association of Pest Control Advisers (CAPCA) have joined forces to ensure advisers have the latest research and information they need to make optimal in-orchard recommendations and be successful in consulting almond growers. Throughout 2021, the Almond Board will provide the following services to CAPCA and Crop Team members: continuing education hosted at CAPCACE.com and available now: “The Status of Herbicide Resistance in California and Finding Success with Soil Moisture Monitoring,” technical articles on a variety of production topics, consistent, timely updates to Tree Nut Crop Team members, and dedicated, almond-specific educational breakout session at the 2021 CAPCA Conference, scheduled for Oct. 17-19. The Almond Board will also provide almond industry members and PCAs working in the almond industry the opportunity to attend online courses to earn a maximum of two hours of Continuing Education Units for FREE: 1 DPR CE Hour focused on IPM and IPM Issues in Almonds 1 CCA CE Hour focused on Soil, Water and Nutrients in Almonds If you are in need of Continuing Education Units, please reach out to the Almond Board’s Field Outreach and Education team at firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here for more information about ABC’s partnership with CAPCA. “We Need You” – Almond Orchard 2025 Goals. In 2018, the California almond industry launched four industry-wide goals – the Almond Orchard 2025 Goals – to help protect our right to farm, establish a journey towards continuous improvement and move towards the almond orchard of the future. One of those four goals is focused on increasing adoption of environmentally friendly pest management tools by 25%, using strategies beyond traditional methods to safely and effectively reduce pest levels. As an industry, we need the help of PCAs throughout the almond growing region in providing recommendations and guidance on how to manage pests more responsibly. To achieve the 2025 Goal focused on improved Integrated Pest Management (IPM), the Almond Board is helping the industry focus on an approach of proven cultural practices, alternatives to sprays (when possible), precision application and reduced spray drift. This approach will be applied to five key pest problems growers can combat and three initiatives growers can achieve using responsible integrated pest management (IPM) strategies. CASP and Continuous Improvement The direction set by the Almond Orchard 2025 Goals and the industry’s journey to achieve those goals is integral to the progress documented and learnings gathered from ABC’s California Almond Stewardship Platform (CASP). CASP has four main components: The California Almond Stewardship Platform (CASP) is comprised of research, grower education, almond-based tools and self-assessment data. The CASP self-assessments reflect aggregated industry practices. Through the Grower Data Assessment & Evaluation tool, growers can opt-in to share data with handlers as part of their handler’s sustainability programs The research and grower education are integral parts to the Platform, and allow ABC to educate growers on a variety of practices and provide accurate information from the research that has, and continues, to be conducted. The grower self-assessment component helps growers identify areas of improvement across their operations and document their progress toward achieving improved practices via a series of assessment questions about their farming and operational practices. On the CASP online system – Almondstewardship.org.org – growers can not only complete their assessment but also access free decision support tools, such as a Nitrogen Management Plan Reporting and Mapping Tool. It provides the industry with the information it needs to tell consumers, buyers, and other stakeholders worldwide about the California almond community’s efforts to grow almonds in a safer, healthier and more sustainable way. Handlers can receive a consolidated report of their growers’ practices (shared in aggregate) and how those practices compare to growers across the state. Growers can also get credit for their practices via the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI) Platform Farm Sustainability Assessment, which is benchmarked against CASP to provide global relevance to grower practices. Further, ABC can access data (also in aggregate) that can be shared with trade professionals, sustainability-minded consumers and others to best communicate the industry’s responsible growing practices. CASP and the 2025 Goals are completely interconnected: Data from CASP will be used to track the industry’s progress toward achieving each of the 2025 Goals. Looking to the IPM Goal, specifically, progress against this goal will focus on combatting the five pests – listed above – that provide the biggest economic headaches and explore how new tools can effectively address those pests. Progress will also be determined by the industry’s adoption of the three recommended management practices, also list above, which aim to further guide the industry on its path toward continuous improvement. Ultimately, with the 2025 Goals and CASP, growers are looking not only to improve their responsible growing practices but also to farm more efficiently, improving their bottom line and preserving their orchards for future generations of growers. Questions? For more information on CASP, please reach out to the Field Outreach team at email@example.com, or visit AlmondStewardship.org. Additional grower Tools and Resources are also available here.