Single-season drought irrigation strategies influence almond production
David A. Goldhamer, Department of Land, Air, and Water Resources
Timothy E. Smith, Five Points, CA
California Agriculture 49(1):19-22. DOI: 10.3733/ca.v049n01p19.
Yields from five irrigation regimes that each applied 16 acre-inches/acre were evaluated during a simulated drought year and for the subsequent two seasons under full irrigation. Drought-year production was mildly reduced by regimes that produced smaller kernels. Much greater losses occurred in the season immediately following the drought due to reduced nut load. Applying a limited allotment of water early in the drought season proved less effective in limiting subsequent production losses than irrigating at a lower rate but for a longer period of the drought season. Avoiding severe water stress during flower bud development (August and September) is critical for subsequent bloom and fruit set.
D.A. Goldhamer is Water Management Specialist, Department of Land, Air, and Water Resources, UC Davis, based at the Kearney Agricultural Center, Parlier. T.E. Smith is Agronomist, Britz, Inc., Five Points, CA.
The authors wish to thank Woolf Enterprises, Inc.; Westlands Water District and the California Almond Board for their assistance in this work.