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Self-assessment helps almond growers

California almond growers participating in a number of workshops throughout the Central Valley are finding the California Almond Sustainability Program self-assessment is a useful tool for setting benchmarks for their production practices on the spectrum of sustainability practices.

ABC's Gabriele Ludwig said the voluntary self-assessment provides growers with input that can help them improve the efficiency and performance of their specific best management practices.

"The self-assessment not only helps growers document best management practices through the lens of sustainability, but also helps remind them about the things they can do to improve the efficiency of those systems," Ludwig said.

A similar program for California wine-grape growers, for instance, revealed that while more than 80 percent of growers use micro-irrigation systems, adoption rates were much lower for simple tools that can get the most out of those systems, such as distribution uniformity testing or irrigation scheduling based on ETo and soil moisture monitoring.

"The self-assessment process lets you put your practices in front of you to decide if you are getting the most out of them from a sustainability standpoint," Ludwig said.

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