Growing Principles

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Almond Physiology

Almond Physiology

Pit Hardening

Pit Hardening

The almond fruit is classified as a drupe (or stonefruit) where the hard, lignified stone or pit is derived from the ovary wall of the flower. Unlike most drupes, the outside fleshy mesocarp (husk) is dry and leathery, not for human consumption, and does not increase in size following pit hardening. The absence of any increase in fruit size after pit hardening results in an exponential fruit growth curve rather than the sigmoid curve of a traditional stonefruit variety such as an apricot.

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Almond Bud Initiation

Almond Bud Initiation

Bud initiation and development determine the potential productive capacity of an almond tree. Bud initiation and formation, are directly affected by seasonal conditions (especially temperature extremes and water stress), genetics, nutrition, tree structure and the presence of viruses. Since some of these influences are within the control of growers and nurserymen, it is critical that managers understand the stages of bud formation, and the relative sensitivities of each stage, to the influential factors. This fact sheet describes these influences and the management decisions that may affect their impact.

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Crop Nutrient Removal

Crop Nutrient Removal

Historically, fertiliser programs for most horticultural crops have been monitored using leaf analysis at a particular period of the growing season. Whilst this technique has been useful in assessing nutrient status and nutrient levels, it does not either directly indicate the quantity of nutrients required to produce a crop or provide an accurate assessment of the nutrient ratios which the season’s fertiliser program should be based around.

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Dormancy Breaking

Dormancy Breaking

International and domestic research into the artificial control of budbreak has been quite extensive over the years with research into products such as oils, dinitro-o-cyclohexylphenol (DNOC), hydrogen cyanamide, gibberellic acid, cytokinins, paclobutrazol, potassium nitrate and fatty amines. The research has primarily been brought about by the commercial growing of deciduous fruit trees in warmer climates where there is the potential for insufficient chilling.

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Breeding for Self-fertile Varieties

Breeding for Self-fertile Varieties

Many commercial cultivars of almond (Prunus dulcis) are self-sterile (selfincompatible). When a self-sterile cultivar is grown in a commercial orchard, polleniser varieties must also be planted to ensure fruit set. Self-fertility would therefore be very useful for almond producers.

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Variety Selection

Variety Selection

Australian Almond Breeding Program 2018 Update

Australian Almond Breeding Program 2018 Update

This fact sheet provides an update for the Australian Almond Breeding Program for the 2017/18 growing season. The fact sheet discussing flowering times and yield over the three stages located at Lindsay Point, South Australia.

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Carina Factsheet

Carina Factsheet

Carina is high spur bearing with a compact to medium canopy that may suit higher orchard densities.  The hull flares away from the shell in a ‘banana’ fashion and the semi-hard shell reduces kernel quality downgrades and late season bird damage.

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Capella Factsheet

Capella Factsheet

Capella is an upright bearing tree that is suited traditional orchard densities.  The hull flares away from the shell in a ‘banana’ fashion and hard shell reduces kernel quality downgrades and late season bird damage.

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Maxima Factsheet

Maxima Factsheet

Maxima is a highly spur bearing tree that is suited to planting in traditional or higher density orchards.  The hull flares away from the shell in a ‘banana’ fashion and has a very large kernel that may be suited to markets where large size attracts premium pricing.

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Mira Factsheet

Mira Factsheet

Mira is an upright spur bearing tree that is suited to planting in traditional orchard densities.  The hull flares away from the shell in a ‘banana’ fashion and the semi-hard shell reduces kernel quality downgrades and late season bird damage.

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Rhea Factsheet

Rhea Factsheet

Rhea is an upright bearing tree that is suited to planting in traditional orchard densities.  It is a paper shell with a closed shell seal to reduce kernel quality downgrades.  The kernel itself has a hint of marzipan similar to Carmel and may be suitable for inclusion in the Carmel market.

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Vela Factsheet

Vela Factsheet

Vela is a highly spur bearing tree that is suited to planting in traditional or higher density orchards. The kernel has a similar appearance and taste profile to Nonpareil and may be suited to markets where Nonpareil is preferred over other varieties.

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Almond Nematodes Fact Sheet

Almond Nematodes Fact Sheet

The characteristics of a rootstock are often forgotten about or poorly taken into account as they are not as apparent – they are hidden under the ground. The scion on the other hand is well known due to its visible, above ground morphological characteristics such as flowering, growth habit, kernel quality, etc. Nevertheless, the rootstock is 50% of a fruit tree and must symbiotically and mutually interact with the scion to optimise fruit production and nut quality.

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Renewable Energy

Renewable Energy

Renewable Energy Production from Almond Waste

Renewable Energy Production from Almond Waste

The almond industry is rapidly growing its output at a time where the Australian economy is becoming increasingly “carbon” constrained. This means that input prices related to energy and pumping costs are rising and consumer expectations about sustainability are changing. Agriculture is well placed though to take advantage of opportunities under the Clean Energy Future Plan in relation to renewable energy and possibly energy efficiency and carbon farming.

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Economics of Almond Production

Economics of Almond Production

Almond Production Spreadsheet

Almond Production Spreadsheet

This following spreadsheet is a tool to aid in the explanation, budgeting and tracking of almond  irrigation, fertiliser and foliar applications.

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Almond Production Spreadsheet Instructions

Almond Production Spreadsheet Instructions

Understand how to use the Almond Production Spreadsheet by using these instructions.

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