California tree nut expert to provide valuable insights to walnut growers at Exponut 2021
An expert in tree nut crops will provide attendees of next Tuesday's Exponut 2021 in Chile with valuable insights into how to best manage their irrigation and soils under drought conditions.
Mae Culumber, a Nut Crops Farm Advisor with the University of California, Davis' Cooperative Extension, will speak at the inaugural talk of the day entitled 'Water-restricted irrigation and salt management in walnut orchards, experience in California.'
Exponut 2021 will be held in person on Nov. 30 at the CasaPiedra Events Center in Santiago. The event is organized by the Association of Producers and Exporters of Chile A.G. (CHILENUT) and is co-financed by the Ministry of Agriculture's Forestry and Livestock Export Promotion Fund, which is administered by ProChile.
Culumber, who obtained a degree in Soil Science from Utah State University, provides assistance to almond, pistachio and walnut growers in California, getting to know that production issues they are facing. These learnings then inform the applied research trials that the Cooperative Extension carries out to provide solutions.
At Exponut, she will reveal key findings and information to help growers produce more successful crops and ensure the longevity of their trees under drought conditions.
"The reason that I'm talking about irrigation during drought and salinity management is that these two concepts are very much intertwined - when we have problems with drought, with salt accumulation will follow," she said.
"In California in the last few years there's been a lot of difficulties with low levels of snowpack, low levels of moisture coming from our Sierra Nevada range, and so lower soil moisture reserves and not a lot of water availability. In walnuts - as with all tree crops -we're working to find ways to mitigate the negative impacts of having less water and lower quality water available."
Her talk will focus on several different areas, including different irrigation scheduling tools, evapotranspiration, and what the water needs are of tree nuts. She will also talk about different textures of the soil, the irrigation system application rates, and how to monitor salinity in the soil in response to drought.
ProChile supporting ExpoNut since 2015
According to Lorena Sepúlveda, National Director of ProChile: “ProChile’s support for ExpoNut 2021, as well as previous events, is because this event is one of the most significant with the greatest impact for the Chilean nut industry that allows the transmission of updated technical and commercial information, for the entire chain linked to this sector, bringing together producers, processors, exporters, marketers, technicians and importers.
When asked about why this event is important specifically for the Chilean nut industry, she said it is essential because the information provided allows the sector to make timely decisions related to business, stay up-to-date on technical and production issues that are essential for obtaining a good quality final product and create networks between businesses within the industry.
Regarding how this event enhances the country’s image, Sepúlveda said: “Walnut production has grown exponentially during the last 10 years, transforming Chile into the second largest exporter of walnuts in shell and the third without shell worldwide."
In 2008, Chile had 13,500 hectares of walnut trees planted, which has increased almost four times, reaching the current area of close to 47,000 hectares. These numbers show the growing importance of our country in the world supply of this dried fruit.”
“Due to the above, and considering that ExpoNut is the main event in the sector that brings together the national industry, it is also of high interest for buyers and other international stakeholders, allowing them to see our country’s strengths as a producer of quality foods,” she said.
For more information about Exponut 2021, please visit: www.exponut.cl