Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources
Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources
Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources
University of California
Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources

Posts Tagged: walnuts

New cost and return study for walnuts released by UC Agricultural Issues Center

The UC Agricultural Issues Center has released a new study on the costs and returns to establish an orchard and produce walnuts in the northern San Joaquin Valley.

This study assumes a hypothetical farm size of 100 contiguous acres that is farmer owned and operated. Sixty acres are being established to walnuts and 35 acres are planted to other permanent or annual crops. The walnut orchard is planted on a 24-by-24-foot spacing using three-quarters inch caliber nursery grafted trees on a Paradox rootstock. The walnut trees are a late leafing, lateral bearing variety. 

Input and reviews were provided by UC Cooperative Extension farm advisors and other agricultural associates. The authors describe the assumptions used to identify current costs for the walnut crop, material inputs, cash overhead, and non-cash overhead. Ranging analysis tables show net profits over a range of prices and yields. Other tables show the monthly cash costs, the costs and returns per acre, hourly equipment costs, and the whole farm annual equipment, investment and business overhead costs.

The new study is titled: "Sample Costs to Establish an Orchard and Produce Walnuts, in the San Joaquin Valley North – 2017"

This study and other sample cost of production studies for many commodities are available for download on the UC Davis Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics website at http://coststudies.ucdavis.edu.

For additional information or an explanation of the calculations used in the studies, contact Jeremy Murdock at the Agricultural Issues Center at (530) 752-4651, jmmurdock@ucdavis.edu, or UCCE advisors Joe Grant, jagrant@ucanr.edu, David Doll, dadoll@ucanr.edu, or Janet Caprile, jlcaprile@ucanr.edu.

 

The UC Agricultural Issues Center has released a new cost study on walnuts.
Posted on Friday, January 26, 2018 at 10:18 AM
Tags: Walnuts (17)
Focus Area Tags: Economic Development

Almond and Walnut Pest Management Guidelines revised just in time for the holidays

‘Tis the season for baking lots of tasty treats. Breads, cookies, cakes, and candy are just a few that come to mind. What makes many of these treats so tasty is the addition of almonds or walnuts to the list of ingredients.

In California, we are lucky to be at the center of almond and walnut production. According to the California Department of Food and Agriculture's (CDFA's) latest Agricultural Statistics Review, more than 99 percent of the almonds and walnuts produced in the United States are grown in California.

Almond and walnut growers work tirelessly to supply enough nuts to not only satisfy domestic demand, but also for export. Worldwide, almonds rank as the largest specialty crop export. California is the top almond producer in the world, accounting for about 80 percent of all almonds grown. For walnuts, California ranks as the second largest producer in the world. To keep up with this demand, almond and walnut growers must be constantly aware of pests, diseases, and abiotic problems that can affect the tree and growing nuts.

California is the top almond producer in the world, accounting for about 80% of all almonds grown. (Photo: Jack Kelly Clark)

The University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program (UC IPM) has recently published revised Pest Management Guidelines for almonds and walnuts, helping growers prevent and manage pest problems with the most up-to-date information.

Revisions in the Almond Pest Management Guidelines include:

  • A new section on bacterial spot, a new disease of almond in California found in the Sacramento and northern San Joaquin valleys
  • A renamed section on fruit russeting, revised from the old powdery mildew section
  • Significant revisions made to the management section of navel orangeworm, one of the major pests attacking California almonds
  • Improvements on how to do dormant spur sampling section with easier-to-understand information on monitoring and thresholds
Bacterial spot on almond, a new disease of almond in California. (Photo: Brent A. Holtz)

Revisions in the Walnut Pest Management Guidelines include:

  • Updated information on the association between walnut twig beetle and thousand cankers disease
  • New sections for Botryosphaeria and Phomopsis cankers, branch wilt, and paradox canker
  • Significant changes to the walnut husk fly management section
Male (left) and female walnut twig beetles. (Photo: Larry L. Strand)

Both the almond and walnut revised Pest Management Guidelines also include updated information on fungicide efficacy, weed management, and vertebrate management.

Authored by University of California specialists and advisors, the Pest Management Guidelines are UC's official guidelines for monitoring and managing pests in California crops. For more information on pest management in these or other crops, visit the UC IPM website.

Posted on Tuesday, December 19, 2017 at 11:03 AM
Tags: almonds (5), pests (1), walnuts (17)

New cost study for English walnuts released by Agricultural Issues Center

This cost study focuses on establishing a walnut orchard in the Sacramento Valley
A new study on the cost and return of growing English walnuts has been released by UC Agriculture and Natural Resources' Agricultural Issues Center.
 
The study focuses on establishing an orchard and producing walnuts under microsprinkler irrigation in the Sacramento Valley. 

The economic life of the orchard used in this cost analysis is 30 years. The analysis is based upon a hypothetical farm operation of a well-managed orchard, using practices common to the region. Growers, UC ANR Cooperative Extension farm advisors and other agricultural associates provided input and reviews. Assumptions used to identify current costs for the walnut crop, material inputs, cash and non-cash overhead are described. A ranging analysis table shows profits over a range of prices and yields. Other tables show the monthly cash costs, the costs and returns per acre, hourly equipment costs, and the whole farm annual equipment, investment and business overhead costs.

The new study is titled 2015 Sample Costs to Establish and Produce English Walnuts in the Sacramento Valley, Microsprinkler Irrigated.”

This study and other sample cost of production studies for many commodities are available. They can be downloaded for free from the UC Davis Department of Agriculture and Resource Economics website at http://coststudies.ucdavis.edu.

For additional information or an explanation of the calculations used in the studies, contact Don Stewart at the UC ANR Agricultural Issues Center at (530) 752-4651 or destewart@ucdavis.edu.

Posted on Monday, November 16, 2015 at 9:10 AM

Bats in the belfry? No, bats in walnut orchards

A pallid bat catching dinner mid air. (Photo: Bat Conservation International)
Bats are voracious predators of night-flying insects that target California crops. Research statistics show that a pregnant or nursing female can consume as much as two-thirds of her body weight in insects per night. That's somewhat like a 150-pound man eating 100 pounds of food per day.

What's the economic value of bats to the agricultural pest control? It probably exceeds $23 billion per year, according to recent studies. However, very little data exists on the benefits of bats for individual crops, such as walnuts.

UC Agriculture and Natural Resources researchers, together with UC Davis, are launching a survey to better understand the value of bats (and birds) on managed lands. The voluntary survey, focused on growers and landowners in California's Central Valley, may be completed online.

Work is already underway to assess the pest-control impact of bats on walnut production in the Central Valley with a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency STAR (Science to Achieve Results).

California produces almost all of the nation's walnuts. Farmers grow some 500,000 tons of walnuts on 290,000 acres, with the annual crop valued at $1.8 billion. Due to popular demand, new orchards are planted every year, calling for more intensive farming practices to manage costly crop pests. For walnuts, the key pest is the codling moth, a larva that feeds on developing nuts. The adult moths begin to fly and lay eggs on the nutlets in May and produce up to four generations per year.

Rachael Long with a bat detector under the Davis causeway. (Photo: California Farm Bureau)
Growers, as part of their pest control management practices, typically use insecticides, spraying once or twice a year for this pest. Many also use pheromones, a mating-disruption technology that prevents males from finding females. Although generally effective, pesticides are expensive and they can have harmful impacts on the environment.

Bats forage in walnut orchards for codling moths and other insects. Colonies of bats double their activity on farms when they roost in bat houses attached to barns in the orchards. The Mexican free-tailed bat is the most abundant species, followed by the Yuma and California myotis, and five other species, including the pallid bat.

In an effort to quantify the economic impact of bats' consumption of codling moths, we captured 36 Mexican free-tailed bats over a three-night period in an 80-acre walnut orchard in Yolo County. Some 3,000 bats live in the bat houses in an abandoned shop on the property.

The research procedure: We opened our mist net from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. to correspond with codling moth flights and bat activity, and captured the bats as they returned to the roost after feeding. We placed the bats individually in sterile cloth sacks and kept them there until they defecated, then we released them. We quickly froze the guano pellets and shipped them to a USDA lab, where scientists genetically tested them for the presence of codling moths.

Our preliminary data suggest that 5 percent of these bats – about 150 bats from this colony of 3,000 – consumed at least one codling moth per night. We calculated 30 nights per generation for the codling moth, and four generations per year, with each female moth laying 60 viable eggs on individual nuts.

Bats help protect California walnuts from coddling moth.
For a typical 80-acre walnut orchard producing a total of 136 tons of walnuts per year, we estimate that bats can protect about 6 percent of the crop yield, or $29,700 worth of walnuts per season at the current price of $1.65 per pound. That's an economic value of $10 per bat per year. And that figure probably underestimates the true value, since for some species of bats, up to 40 percent of their diet can consist of moths – an average of about 15 moths per night.

The next steps: we are refining our economic data and determining whether these insect-hunting bats help reduce pesticide use in walnut orchards.

Bats provide these pest control services for free while farmers enjoy a decrease of pests in their orchards and an increase in profits.

Co-authors: Rachael Long, UC ANR advisor; and Katherine Ingram, Department of Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology, UC Davis.

Posted on Wednesday, April 15, 2015 at 8:22 AM
Tags: bats (1), Rachael Long (1), walnuts (17)

Thirty-year farm advisor gets her day in the sun

Janine Hasey, UCCE advisor in Sutter and Yuba counties, has helped revolutionize walnut pruning strategies.
UC Cooperative Extension advisor Janine Hasey has helped revolutionize the way farmers prune their walnut trees, reported Tim Hearden in a lengthy feature story published in Capital Press.

Hasey, a plant pathologist by training, conducts research and works with farmers on a wide variety of crops, plant systems and cultural methods in Sutter and Yuba counties. She called the results of the walnut pruning research "a real paradigm shift."

Hasey and Bruce Lampinen, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis, learned that trees that have been trimmed sparingly or not at all produced a bigger yield than trees that were pruned more aggressively.

"We've had several growers adopt it," Hasey said. "We always caution growers that whenever we have something new, to do it on smaller acreages first to see how it works. But there are several growers who are adopting it now because it's working so well. We do have fairly long-term data."

 

e’ve had several growers adopt it,” Hasey said. “We always caution growers that whenever we have something new, to do it on smaller acreages first to see how it works. But there are several growers who are adopting it now because it’s working so well. We do have fairly long-term data.” - See more at: http://www.capitalpress.com/article/20131219/ARTICLE/131219878/1020#sthash.W3hZe7wL.dpuf
“We’ve had several growers adopt it,” Hasey said. “We always caution growers that whenever we have something new, to do it on smaller acreages first to see how it works. But there are several growers who are adopting it now because it’s working so well. We do have fairly long-term data.” - See more at: http://www.capitalpress.com/article/20131219/ARTICLE/131219878/1020#sthash.W3hZe7wL.dpuf
“We’ve had several growers adopt it,” Hasey said. “We always caution growers that whenever we have something new, to do it on smaller acreages first to see how it works. But there are several growers who are adopting it now because it’s working so well. We do have fairly long-term data.” - See more at: http://www.capitalpress.com/article/20131219/ARTICLE/131219878/1020#sthash.W3hZe7wL.dpuf
“We’ve had several growers adopt it,” Hasey said. “We always caution growers that whenever we have something new, to do it on smaller acreages first to see how it works. But there are several growers who are adopting it now because it’s working so well. We do have fairly long-term data.” - See more at: http://www.capitalpress.com/article/20131219/ARTICLE/131219878/1020#sthash.W3hZe7wL.dpuf
Posted on Friday, December 20, 2013 at 2:05 PM
Tags: Janine Hasey (1), walnuts (17)

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