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Showing posts from January, 2016

Modern Agriculture

What is Modern Agriculture?
Modern agriculture could be a scientist in a lab creating the newest impossible non-meat hamburger. Modern agriculture could mean the development of GMO seeds to decrease pesticide use. Modern agriculture could be turning on your irrigation system from an app on your computer. Modern agriculture could just mean the use of GPS in tractors, or maybe just the use of a tractor on a farm. Modern agriculture could mean something different to you depending on how you look at agriculture.

Modern agriculture is essentially developing practices that help farmers increase efficiency and reduce the amount of resources to meet the world's needs. But depending on your interpretation of the term you could already have created your opinion of modern agriculture. 2% of the population is involved in agriculture but 100% of the population has opinions.
That's the situation we face today, consumers tend to develop their own opinions of modern agriculture without unders…

Protecting our future nuts

We have been lucky to be getting some rain in the last few weeks in the valley and another big storm is expected this weekend. Unfortunately, we had planned to be dormant spraying last week. Meaning long days, and food deliveries to the farm to keep the spray rigs going so we can get back on schedule. We can't complain, we need and want the rain but the timing just always seems to be a little off.
The trees are still sleeping, or what farmers call dormant, so it is perfect timing to spray mineral oil and insect growth regulators before the trees wake up for spring. In just a couple week the trees will begin to push buds and bloom is just around the corner. But for now, we need to get on top of some insects that could harm our trees before they wake up.
Scale, is an insect who sucks the sap from the tree. I am sure you have all seen the gum looking sap that tends to ooze out of certain trees. Sap on an almond tree is sugar that helps to create the nut. Scale is easier to manage in …

Bud Swell, The beginning of the new life cycle

We have been enjoying plenty of foggy mornings on the farm this past month. Mornings when we can't see in front of us very far because the clouds are so low, or it feels like being in a cloud. The brisk cold mornings and the wet foggy air is the perfect combination for helping the old almonds fall off when we winter shake. After these old almonds are off the trees, the trees are ready to start the life cycle again. Farmers generally aim to be done winter shaking by the third week of January. It is at this point the trees are starting to wake up and push buds. When buds are swelling you don't want to risk shaking the trees and harming the new bud development because it is easy to knock large buds off the branches. We definitely don't want to hurt our new almonds.

The buds are starting to swell or enlarge. They are bulging out of the branch and starting to pop up for light. In a couple weeks they will be breaking open. If you remember, last year I blogged all about the po…

Finding light in a negative world.

There is a lot of negativity in today's world. It is in the media, on television, some family members, work life, it seems everywhere you turn there is someone or something that just seems to be negative. Even when you turn on the news at night, it always focuses on the bad things going on. They always seem to report when someone is arrested or accused of wrong doing. But then when they are cleared of the charges or wrongfully arrested, the news never tells that side of the story. When they get a story wrong or there is a happy ending, it never seems to make the mainstream media. Why has our world become focused on the bad and less focused on the good?

A couple months back, I attended a local Business Conference and one speaker specifically tackled the tough topic of cleansing your life of negativity. Now with it being a new year, it really got me thinking of how much negativity surrounds us all and how I want to be more positive this year. Maybe you have a family member who is…

Almond Girl in Action

Last month, our little family was quite active! The holidays alone bring lots of parties, family activities, and outings that involve travel and long days. But on top of all of the normal holiday events, I had two back to back conferences to attend. And of course the conferences were a distance away and just so happened to be during my little almond farmer's first birthday.  So I picked up my family and took them with me!

First up, was the California Farm Bureau Annual Meeting, were I serve on the Young Farmers and Ranchers State Committee. During the Annual Meeting, members and delegates congregate to receive a legislative update, discuss and amend policy, commodity reviews and more. This year they made changes to policy on drones, discussed the ongoing bee issues, crop insurance for the drought, just to name a few. We also a heated election of new officers to serve our organization for the upcoming years.
Every year farmers and ranchers from throughout the state assemble togeth…