In addition to providing wholesome nutrition and supporting the health of our population, California’s community of more than 6,800 almond growers are committed to using sustainable agricultural practices that respect the environment and local community1,2 . Over 90 percent of California almond farms are family farms, owned in large part by third and fourth generation family farmers who plan to pass down their land and way of life to their children and grandchildren.2  And nearly three-quarters of almond farms are less than 100 acres2. These growers recognize the need to carefully manage resources for current and future generations, offer continued work for their employees, and ensure clean air and water for their families and neighbours.

Sustainable practices for almond growers differ from orchard to orchard depending on particular conditions, such as soil and climate variances in California’s Central Valley. Achieving sustainability takes  individualized care and consideration of resources, such as reviewing weather, soil moisture and tree needs to determine the most effective irrigation strategies and nutrient needs. 

In order to continue to help growers face these complex challenges, the Almond Board of California invests more than $2 million a year to research production and environmental issues to continually evolve best practices.

 

 A Team on a Mission 

When it comes to following sustainable agricultural practices, California almond growers and handlers together have been progressive and are continuously challenging themselves to do more. The California Almond Sustainability Program (CASP) was established in 2009 to better understand the ongoing sustainability practices of growers related to the following aspects in their operations:

  • Water (efficiency and quality)
  • Air quality
  • Energy
  • Land (nutrient management, pest management and bee health)

In addition to collecting data related to the areas above, we have analysed the practices used to grow almonds for their relative impact on the environment in combination with grower economics. This value analysis has helped the almond community identify which of the many practices have the greatest environmental and economic impact while helping inform future research areas and projects.

For questions or more information about our sustainability efforts, contact the Almond Board.


1. California Almond Sustainability Program definition: Sustainable almond farming utilizes production practices that are economically viable and are based upon scientific research, common sense and a respect for the environment, neighbors and employees. The result is a plentiful, nutritious, safe food product.
2. 2012 USDA Agricultural Census. http://www.agcensus.usda.gov/Publications/2012/