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Impact of Bees and Other Cultural Practices on Almond Yield

Report developed by Mohammad Sharif, Roots of Peace Horticulturalist J.D. “Zach” Lea, Ph.D., Roots of Peace Country Director - Almond Industry Development Project (AIDP) EC Perennial Horticulture Development Project (PHDP) Funded by the European Union. The data from our studies show that use of the package of cultural practices (not including bees) promoted by the Almond Industry Development Project (AIDP) can increase almond yield on traditionally managed Afghan almond trees by 46% to 154%. The use of bees to increase pollination can increase almond yield on traditionally managed Afghan almond trees by 40% to 160%. Thus, the ADIP objective of demonstrating a 35% increase in almond yield attributable to project-promoted cultural practices is achieved. The results of this study are adequate to support a generalized recommendation that improved cultural practices, including the appropriate use of agricultural chemicals, and bees can result in a significant increase in almond yield per tree over that of traditionally managed trees. However, the specific levels of chemicals and bee hives used here should not be considered a recommendation for general use. Instead, these results should to be used only to guide further research, supported by competent integrated pest management principles, into the specific practices to be used in any given orchard.