Water is becoming an increasingly scarce resource, and as the demand to do more with less in the orchard grows, researchers at the University of California (UC)-Davis are spearheading a USDA-Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) project to address how plants absorb water and when it is an appropriate time to irrigate. The research project involves several components (see “More Than Just Irrigation”) and several universities.
Shrini Upadhyaya, professor in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering at UC-Davis, says water is of great concern to almond growers.
“Irrigation is so critical to grow. It’s a $13.2 billion industry, just the fruits and the nuts,” said Upadhyaya, who is the director of the precision canopy and water management project. “In the valley where we grow these crops, we don’t get a single drop of rain, generally speaking, during the growing period.”
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