Orchard Notes: November 2020

Hello everyone-
And like that, we’re into the holidays! As the orchards are settling into the dormant season, the California Prune Board wishes you a Happy Thanksgiving with a few friendly reminders.

-Kiaran Locy, Director of Brand & Industry Communications

Orchard Considerations


As the days grow shorter and cooler, orchard irrigation needs decrease but don’t vanish. Manage irrigation to minimize water stress, as this makes trees more susceptible to Cytospora canker spread compared to well-watered trees. Water stress measured as stem water potential using a pressure chamber should be mild to moderate (-12 to -16 bars). Learn more about pressure chamber use at: com/manuals/stem-water-potential.

Alternatively, use ET estimates, which are available for North and South Sacramento Valley at com/et-reports). A final option is soil moisture evaluation with electronic sensors or by hand using an auger, to determine when and how much irrigation water to apply.

View more information and orchard considerations for fall and winter from the UCCE team in our previous edition of Orchard Notes here.


Prune Research Workgroup

The California Prune Board proudly sponsors this event each year and we look forward to hosting it again this December in a virtual format. This year’s Prune Research Workgroup meeting will be held on Tuesday, December 1st (full day) and Wednesday, 2nd (half-day). Be sure to save the date for this important meeting and learn about the latest projects funded by the California Prune Board from UC, USDA, and CSU researchers. The annual meeting is a great opportunity to get more insight on the investment made in production research and informs the research priorities to ensure that assessments are directed towards projects that provide the highest value to the industry. As a reminder, Prune Research Reports can be found at the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources (UCANR) website here: Prune Research Reports Database. Agenda and registration TBA.

Topics/speakers will include:

  • Cytospora canker: Dr. Themis Michailides, UC Davis Plant Pathologist
  • Wood Rot Fungi: Daisy Hernandez, Ph.D. Candidate, UC Davis Plant Pathology Department
  • Mechanical pruning trial research: Dr. Rich Rosecrance, Professor, CSU Chico


The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 authorizes up to $14 billion for a variety of agricultural sectors impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, including California Prunes. Since CFAP 2 enrollment began on September 21, FSA has approved more than 616,103 applications according to the USDA report. In a CPB poll conducted in late October, 81% of grower respondents stated they have not yet applied but intend to do so.

Find your local USDA service center where you can connect with your Farm Service Agency in your county to help you with the process of applying.

The CFAP 2 application deadline is December 11, 2020 – Apply Now


The California Prune Board and Gary Obenauf recently shared the latest edition of the Agricultural Research Quarterly Report for the period ending October 31, 2020. In case you missed it, you can view the report online with updates on Research; the TASC Project; Methyl Bromide Alternatives Outreach (MBAO); UC Farm Advisor Positions; Sacramento Valley Orchard Source (SVOS); California Specialty Crops Council (CSCC); and a list of meetings attended and scheduled. Read the Report

The California Prune Board is sponsoring INC – International Nut & Dried Fruit Council, the first online conference this week bringing together key industry leaders and the global trade from the nuts and dried fruits sectors. In a session titled “News from the California Prune Orchards,” Donn Zea moderates a conversation with California prune growers about what makes California uniquely positioned as the leader in the global prune industry. Check out the pre-recorded session with California Prune growers Joe Turkovich, Nick Micheli, and John Taylor to hear more about this year’s quality crop and what makes California Prunes so special.


New ways to enjoy your prunes have never looked so good! Just in time for a one-of-a-kind Thanksgiving celebration.

Share Your Family Prune Recipes!

What’s your favorite prune recipe? Is there a prune dish everyone requests? Have you adapted an old recipe to make it your own? The digital team is looking to feature California Prune heritage recipes on social media. Submit ideas to aconsulo@prunes.local. Be sure to tell us your name, a little bit of background on the dish, or how you cook with prunes, and where this fits into your family story.