Almonds are a prominent cash crop in the Central Valley of California. According to the Almond Board of California, almonds use roughly eight percent of California’s agricultural water supply; therefore, there is a high demand to focus on sustainability of the crop.
In recent years, California has been in critical drought conditions that have had serious impacts on farming. There is a need to study the role of this valuable resource, water, in almond production, and how farmers can use this information to make better water management decisions in their orchards. This research will be helpful to almond farmers in understanding what to do in the face of water stress without negatively impacting almond yield or quality.
Through ongoing research, Dilruba Yeasmin is attempting to analyze water stress in almonds and its impact on yield through contemporary and precision agriculture technology methods for site-specific crop management.
The project consists of three phases:
- Periodical and continuous data collection
- Data analysis.
This project is taking place at the almond orchard at Fresno State’s University Agricultural Laboratory (UAL), and is an Agricultural Research Institute (ARI) funded project. Production almond trees can be irrigated based on a certain experimental design to collect stress level and available water level data through different technologies such as pressure chamber measurements, soil moisture sensors, sap sensors, photogrammetric and multispectral imagery when availability.
The existing irrigation system in Fresno State’s UAL almond orchard is micro-sprinkler irrigation, which is being used in this project and Fresno State students are helping assisting in field data collection as well as some data analysis.
Principal Investigator: Dilruba Yeasmin
Written by: Hanna Hornyak