An external trial conducted in an orchard of nonpareil almonds in Angle Vale, South Australia revealed an increase in nut weight, length and yield with a program that included Foundation LM, Awaken, LoKomotive and NutriSync D. Results were consistent with earlier data collected from a third-party almond trial in New South Wales. The data indicates that this program in almonds may carry over wide climatic zones, as well as a variety of soil and water types.
Replicated Trial in Nonpareil Almonds (South Australia - 2017/2018 Growing Season)
During the 2017/2018 growing season, the Loveland Agri Products nutritional program was compared to the orchard's standard nutritional program (control) in a third-party replicated trial. The data presented here was collected on 15 February 2018.
The Loveland nutritional program in almonds was associated with a 9.5% nut length increase compared to the control. Nut size uniformity was 86% in the Loveland treatment section and 90.6% where the orchard's standard program was used.
Mean nut weight with the Loveland nutritional program was 36.3g, an increase of 8.3% compared to the mean nut weight of the control samples (33.5g). The variance in nut weight seen in the graph below can be explained by moisture content of the nuts at the time of assessment (8.0% with Loveland treatment vs 8.7% control). The control sample was raked from under almond trees that had been shaken in the row, while the treated sample was taken from almonds that had been swept into the mid-row, giving them more access to light for drying.
Based on nut size and weight variance, yield was estimated at 2.16t/ha with the Loveland nutritional program compared to 2.0t/ha with the orchard's standard program. Assuming almonds priced at $7/kg, this yield increase of 160kg/ha would represent $1120/ha in returned income to the grower.
It's worth noting that the trial site is irrigated with water from a waste water plant (classified as S1C3 water) using low level sprinklers. In addition, applied water volumes (8-10mL/pa) are lower than those applied in the river regions. As a result of both the lower water volumes and lower water quality, yields in this orchard (2-2.4t/ha, on average) are not as high as those achieved in the river regions. Higher yields at this site are typically associated with spring rainfall events that leach accumulated salts from the reuse water applications and allow soil profiles to be filled with good quality water. Use of the Loveland nutritional program at this site may be another way to improve almond yields, while also increasing ROI.
Learn more about using Foundation LM on tree crops by downloading the Foundation LM tree crops booklet.