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Ceres Imaging Blog

Aerial imaging & agriculture tech news for farmers

Tools of the Trade: Pressure “Bomb” for Measuring Plant Stress

Here at Ceres, we have boots on the ground helping to turn imagery into action. One of the tools of choice is known as the pressure chamber, also known as a “pressure bomb”, a great tool to measure the stress of a plant. This, in turn, can help inform decisions on when to irrigate an orchard. What is a pressure bomb and how does it work? In simplest terms, the pressure chamber can be tho...

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Are All Almonds Created Equal: Part 1

  Ever wonder what different almond variety taste like? Most of us buy Nonpareil at the store, but did you know that many growers grow multiple varieties? According to the Almond Board of California: There are approximately 30 almond varieties produced in California orchards. Ten varieties represent over 70% of production. Varieties are grouped into broad classifications for marketing pu...

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Field evaluation of almond varieties

“The first thing we have to accept is there is no such thing as a perfect variety,” said Roger Duncan, the University of California Cooperative Extension’s Stanislaus County director. “Even nonpareil, around for over 100 years, the premium variety, we know it still has its problems.” Duncan, addressing a group of growers in Modesto this year, presenting research examining the pros and co...

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Nitrogen needs in almonds: Tips from UC's Patrick Brown

Patrick Brown is known for decades of work with tree nut crops, and insights about the almond industry. When he spoke in Modesto this year about nitrogen needs in almonds, some of what he shared was canon, while other tips offered growers a fresh take on traditional practices. “Really what you’re doing is balancing your supply with your demand,” Brown said. “If you can get that balance r...

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Root growth in almond trees: Tips from UC Davis's Volder

Root systems in almond trees may seem like a basic part of the business for growers with years of experience, but Astrid Volder, a UC Davis professor and root physiologist, had some in-depth information when she spoke with growers in Modesto. For starters: While almond tree root systems can extend twice the height of the tree, most of those systems spread horizontally and are not very de...

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UC's Haviland talks managing spider mites in almonds

    “I’m down in Bakersfield and spider mites for us are huge,” said David Haviland, a University of California Cooperative farm advisor for Kern County. “Everything that makes a tree stress and work hard, that’s what we’ve got, and that’s what makes spider mites go crazy.” Some spider mite presence isn’t cause for total panic, Haviland said. “The science says the trees can take some hit...

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Managing basin water: A look at SGMA's challenges for the Kaweah Subbasin

SGMA: These are four simple letters, but they stand for regulations that pose a monumental challenge to growers and water authorities around the state. The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, or SGMA, was the topic of conversation among key players in the Kaweah Subbasin water scene earlier this year at a conference. Already, they said, SGMA is affecting land values and changing the ...

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UC advisor Blake Sanden retires after decades of research in almonds and pistachios

Blake Sanden, a University of California advisor for almond and pistachio growers since the 1990s, officially retired as of June (for more on Blake’s career achievements, see this blog on the UC site). But if you talk to Sanden, you can hear the same passion as ever for research projects that inform California growers. Sanden talked with Ceres Imaging about his career working with tree n...

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Navel orangeworm pressure looks heavy as hull split nears, UC & Blue Diamond experts say

  As hull split approached in June, University of California IPM advisor Kris Tollerup is warning growers this month of potential navel orangeworm presence above and beyond 2017. “How high is the navel orangeworm pressure this year?” Tollerup asked a roomful of almond growers in Selma. “Very high, right?” “Up north, I hear people are capturing tons of moths...and tons of females,” Toller...

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UC's Bruce Lampinen talks canopy light interception and yield potential in almonds

Does pruning increase yields for almond growers? Will the most sun lead to the healthiest trees and biggest crops? These are questions that UC Davis professor Bruce Lampinen has spent years studying, and he shared that knowledge with almond growers in Fresno this month in a talk about canopy light interception and yield potential. Over time, Lampinen’s tools for studying light intercepti...

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