Water is essential for tree growth and optimising almond production. Almonds grown in temperate Australia rely on water applied through irrigation to meet the needs of the tree. Water needs continually change during the year and the aim for irrigators is to apply the right amount of water at the right time to avoid issues caused by under- or over-watering.
In Australia 99% of orchards use drip irrigation systems designed to match the soil water-holding capacity. Many growers use sophisticated technology to measure and control water stress in almond trees, with climate data analysis coupled with plant and soil-based sensors, used to plan, monitor and adapt irrigation scheduling to meet tree requirements and minimise unnecessary water use.
Investment has been focused on understanding and optimising the irrigation needs of new and existing almond varieties and growing systems in Australian conditions.