Blue Diamond Almond Facts September-October 2022


holds heat. 11 Initial research has also demonstrated that air temperature 3-5 feet above the ground level is not reduced in cover cropped orchard compared to bare dirt, “indicating that in some cases the presence of a cover crop may not affect overnight temperatures at the canopy level, despite differences at the ground leve l” (emphasis my own). 12 Curiously, the current recommendation based on UCCE research for our industry has not yet changed from that of cutting it to two inches or below. Conclusion Growers need to know that there are challenges with cover crop, and there is no silver bullet - but there is certainly much silver lining. The ongoing and emerging challenges above should not stand in the way of starting or continuing a successful cover crop program. Blue Diamond Growers and Project Apis m . are tackling these issues head on with funding and research. I am convinced that successful cover crop management is key to experiencing the many benefits they can provided to your operation. Cover crop seed casting without additional management attention will end in frustration. These seven principles will get you well on your way. Let’s get to work.

Rory Crowley, Director of Habitat Programs, Project Apis m.

An example of flail mow termination of Pollinator Brassica in a young orchard.

11 Almond Board of California Cover Crop Best Management Practices, 13. 12 Ibid. Also, Cf. Gaudin, A. 2018. Cover Crop Systems for Almond Orchards: Exploring Benefits and Tradeoffs to Inform Management. ABC Annual Research Report (2017-2018) on Project STEWCROP7.



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