Sacramento, California - Tucked away in the Almond Board of California’s Outlook newsletter for growers last week was a gem of an article about something called “hullsplit strategic deficit irrigation.” The upshot of the piece is: “A five-year study found that well-timed deficit irrigation can significantly reduce hull rot and potentially result in seasonal water savings of 10 to 15 percent without long-term impacts on yields.”
For those of us who don’t grow almonds, we don’t need to dig into the details – “maintaining tree stress levels of -14 to -18 bars” and so forth. The takeaway for the rest of us is the fact that this work is going on in the first place, and that the almond industry is just one of many examples.
Growers across the state, across many crops and regions and watersheds, are finding ways to save water. They’re investing in five-year studies that started before the drought. They’re inventing and creating and imagining and innovating. And they’ve been doing it all along.
This drought is serious – in many ways, it’s unprecedented. We’re in this together, California. And our farmers and ranchers are part of the solution.