|FRESNO, Calif., Aug. 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — A sold out crowd of almond growers participated in the Center for Irrigation Technology’s AgWaterEnergy Center workshop on “Water Use Efficiency for Almonds” held at Fresno State on July 23, 2013. The workshop, funded by the California Department of Food and Agriculture, highlighted the use of real-time monitoring technologies to help growers better manage their water and energy use. PureSense’s Chief Agronomist, David Jamison, presented an overview of field monitoring technologies and how growers can use these technologies to drive more efficient irrigation practices.
William Green, Education Manager for the Center for Irrigation Technology, presented early findings from a multi-year study being conducted by CIT on the value of using real-time field monitoring systems and software for grower operations in almond production. Initial findings for Nonpareil almond production in 2012 suggest that the test blocks using real-time monitoring had a 38% larger nut fill (includes hull) than blocks without such management in place. Early results in 2013 show an 11% increase in nut counts for the Nonpareils. The study will collect nut quality and sizing in addition to nut counts and weight.
Bill Green noted, “We are only half way through evaluating this research project at the Center for Irrigation Technology, but it’s obvious that their (PureSense) real-time soil moisture monitoring has validated the advantages of using modern technology and equipment to assist with proper irrigation scheduling and management. The July workshop showcased that technology gives almond growers another tool in the tool box to help manage scarce water supplies.”
Workshop participants also toured the test fields to observe first-hand the monitoring equipment in the field and to learn more about the best practices associated with sensor placement, data acquisition, system operation, and farming practices to assure the integrity of the equipment over time.
“The Center for Irrigation Technology at Fresno State has hosted many workshops and educational events over the past 10 years. The interest and attendance of almond growers and irrigation industry professionals at the July 23rd water use efficiency for almonds workshop was fantastic and indicates there is tremendous interest in applying new technology and using water more efficiently in their industry. We had to turn away attendees to the workshop because there wasn’t enough room for everyone that wanted to come”, stated Bill Green. Given the interest of almond growers in the area, additional workshops are likely to be scheduled this fall (2013).