Industry leaders make the case for UC ANR funding
Western Farm Press.
The article noted that grants have been helpful in recent years to conduct research, but they do not address the loss of "research capacity," a phrase the authors use to describe cuts to permanent funding that sustains faculty and staff.
"To date, 44 percent of the state’s almond acreage is not covered by a farm advisor, with current vacancies in Fresno, Madera, Kern and Glenn counties," wrote Curtis and Ludwig. "These farm advisors regularly conduct problem-solving research under regional growing conditions, often adapting and applying basic research findings, and also regularly communicate with growers and their PCAs, and farm managers through field days and farm calls. The lack of farm advisors in this important San Joaquin Valley region also puts significant strain on current farm advisors in other counties."
Merced Sun-Star puts local spin on almond story
In Merced County almonds have been the second leading commodity for some time, wrote Joshua Emerson Smith in the Merced Sun-Star.
David Doll, UC Cooperative Extension advisor in Merced County, said the California Almond Commodity Board has successfully marketed the nut to the world.
"It's one thing to be able to produce a big crop," he said. "It's another to be able to sell that crop and make money."
Doll said technology has greatly improved almond yields and efficiency.
"The thing that pushed production beyond any of our hopes and dreams was the ability to apply both water and fertilizer at the same time through an irrigation system," he said. "We're able to get these nutrients in the right place at the right time."