The Almond Board of California (ABC) has announced an investment of $5.9 million in 85 independent research projects exploring next-generation farming practices. With this commitment, the California almond community has invested $89 million in research since 1973 to build a foundation of knowledge on responsible farming practices, food quality and safety, and almonds’ impact on human health.

The Almond Board has also announced the release of the Almond Orchard 2025 Goals Roadmap, which outlines the almond community’s sustainability journey in four goal areas, as well as the metrics that the industry’s progress will be measured against.

Of this year’s projects, 10 focus on water with an investment of $678,000. California almond farmers reduced the amount of water needed to grow each pound of almonds by 33% over the past 20 years. By 2025, the California almond community commits to reducing the amount of water used to grow a pound of almonds by an additional 20%.

Thirteen new studies have been funded this year with a commitment of $607,000 dollars to determine how almond coproducts may address needs in other sectors, with promising leads in strengthening recycled plastics, creating biofuel, and more. By 2025, the California almond community commits to achieving zero waste in orchards by putting everything grown to optimal use.

In addition to water sustainability and coproduct utilization, investing in research has also resulted in significant advancements in the areas of nutrient management, air quality, and honeybee health. For example, farmers work closely with beekeepers and follow research-based best practices to ensure the safety of honeybees, essential to pollinating almonds. ABC has funded more research related to honeybee health than any other crop group, with 125 projects funded to date. This year, California almond farmers have added to that investment with five new research projects totaling $336,000.

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