I recently came across this article. I wanted to highlight some important points from this article.
- Almond Board of California Senior Manager of Irrigation and Water Efficiency Spencer Cooper. It’s important, he says, to check the soil moisture profile in your orchard before making the decision to start irrigation.
- He suggests growers and farm managers auger down a couple feet (18-24 inches) at several orchard sites to assess the situation, then think through their plan for the year.
- Trying to refill the soil profile at this time of year could create saturated soils and anaerobic conditions that are detrimental to tree health, Cooper says. If late winter storms do finally arrive, or there are frost events that require applied water for protection, there may be no room for that water in the soil profile, leading to standing water or water moving past the root zone.
- When determining how much water to apply, it is recommended to compare crop water use (ETc), stored soil moisture, and effective rainfall in the spring to enable the efficient use of both water and energy.