- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
You're in luck. Two almond field days-- one set Thursday, March 10 in Lost Hills, Kern County, and the other on Tuesday, March 15 in Zamora, Yolo County--are scheduled and you're invited. They're free to all interested persons and no reservations are required, says coordinator Katharina Ullmann, crop pollination specialist for the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation who holds a doctorate in entomology (Neal Williams lab) from UC Davis.
UC Davis pollination ecologists and other experts will be among those speaking.
For the March 10th event, titled “Almond Field Day: Integrated Crop Pollination,” participants will meet from 9 to 11 a.m. in an orchard east of Highway 33, about 5.8 miles north of the intersection between Highway 37 and Highway 36, Ullmann said. Signs will guide the way.
“This field day will provide an overview of integrated crop pollination for almonds,” Ullmann said. Topics will include almond pollination, minimizing risks to pollinators during bloom, and research updates on blue orchard bees and wildflower plantings for almond pollination in Kern County. The field day will include a tour of an orchard integrating honey bees, blue orchard bees, and wildflower plantings.
The speakers at the March 10th field day:
9 a.m.: Welcome by David Haviland, UC Cooperative Extension, Kern County, and Gordy Wardell, manager of pollination operations Wonderful Orchards, formerly Paramount Farms
9:10: Integrated crop pollination and almonds by pollination ecologist Neal Williams, associate professor, UC Davis, and Katharina Ullmann, crop pollination specialist, Xerces Society
9:25: Blue Orchard Bee research update by Natalie Boyle, postdoctoral researcher, U. S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS)
9:45: Wildflower plantings for almond pollination by Neal Williams
10:05: Reducing risks to honey bees for almond pollination by Gordy Wardell, Wonderful Orchards
10:25: Mating disruption for navel orangeworm by Brad Higbee, director of entomology research, Wonderful Orchards
10:45: Technical and financial support, Nikki Smith, soil conservationist, USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
Sponsors are the UC Agriculture and Natural Resources, UC Davis, Integrated Crop Pollination Project, Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, Wonderful Orchards, and USDA's NRCS.
For the March 15th event, titled “Almond Pollination and Orchard Pollinator Planters,” all interested persons will gather from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at 8304 County Road 91B, Zamora.
“This field day will provide an overview of integrated crop pollination and on-farm wildflower plantings for almonds in the Sacramento Valley,” Ullmann said. “We will hear the latest research from a UC Davis lab studying almond pollination and wildflower plantings, learn about almond pollinators and how to support those pollinators using wildflowers. We will also discuss establishment and maintenance practices for planting habitat on field crop edges and provide an overview of plant species appropriate for plantings in the Sacramento Valley and beyond. Two growers will share their perspectives.
The March 15th lineup:
9 a.m.: Welcome by Kat Pope, orchard advisor, UC Cooperative Extension, Sacramento, Solano and Yolo counties; and Rachael Long, owner of the DH Long Farm and Yolo County farm advisor
9:10: Integrated crop pollination, almond pollination and research update by Kimiora Ward, research associate, Neal Williams lab, UC Davis; Ola Lundin, postdoctoral researcher, Williams Lab, and Katharina Ullmann, crop pollination specialist, Xerces Society
9:40: Almond wildflower plantings 101 (DH Long Farm) by Kimiora Ward, research associate, Williams lab; Kitty Bolte, junior research specialist, Williams lab; and Tom Barrios, Barrios Farms
10:25: Solarization for wildflower planting success (Tadlock Farm) by Jessa Kay Cruz, pollinator conservation specialist, Xerces Society; orchard manager, Tadlock Farm
10:45: Technical and financial support, Ha Troung, Yolo County NRCS
The sponsors include UC Agriculture and Natural Resources, UC Davis, Xercies Society, Integrated Crop Pollination Project Colusa County Resource Conservation District, and the Yolo County Resource Conservation District.
Continuing Education Credit (CEC) will be given. Participants at the almond field days are asked to bring a hat, sunscreen and good walking shoes. For more information contact Katharina Ullmann at email@example.com or at (530) 302-5504.