Yearly Archives: 2017

Regional Changes in Groundwater Levels: Multi-year Drought Followed by Record Setting Wet Year

Trends in cumulative spring groundwater change by county are shown for a shallow well monitoring network and an intermediate well monitoring network across five northern Sacramento Valley counties.  The period of interest includes the spring of 2011 which was a wet water year, 2012 through 2016 which were a series of dry or critically dry water years, followed by 2017 which has been a record-setting wet year. Continue reading

Considerations for Replanting Walnut Orchards

As orchards age, yields decline for a number of reasons and eventually the decision is made to remove the orchard. The age at which an orchard is pulled is a unique decision for each block, depending on yield, price, demand, and resources. Here are a number of recommended steps in removing an orchard, especially when preparing to replant that orchard into walnuts again. Continue reading

Harvest Damage Evaluation for Walnuts

Harvest of the earliest walnut varieties has begun in some locations. Plan accordingly to obtain the ever-important harvest samples! Harvest samples can reveal a number of common sources of kernel, shell, and hull damage. These include damage caused by insect pests, diseases, and environmental/physiological factors. Here are information, tables, and photos that can help identify the sources of damage in your walnut harvest samples. Continue reading

Feather Fingergrass: an Emerging Problem in Orchards

Feather fingergrass, a summer annual weed native to warm temperate regions worldwide is becoming more and more common in the Sacramento Valley. It can be found in agricultural fields, orchards, roadsides and canals. This tuft forming grass, can be 1.5 to 2.5 feet tall and forms umbel like inflorescence: a cluster of short stalks originating from a common point, somewhat like umbrella ribs. Continue reading

Soil Moisture Sensor Selection is Confusing

So, every few weeks the question comes up of whether to install soil moisture meters which leads to the question of which to buy and install or have installed.  And then come the questions of what do the readings mean and why aren’t the readings consistent?  Or maybe this question arrives after the grower has installed the sensors or system and the values don’t conform to a known or knowable pattern. Continue reading

Navel Orangeworm in Walnuts 2017 – Stay Alert

Although many producers and their crop advisers are reporting average to lower numbers of NOW based on trapping so far this season in almonds (harvest damage remains to be seen), bear in mind some of the issues that can lead to NOW build-up and damage as walnuts approach harvest. Keep reading for management tips to keep in mind as walnut hull split approaches. Continue reading