Cover crop research review: How can it help almonds?

Project Type: Graduate Student
Funds awarded in 2018: $24,852.00
Projected End Date: 03/31/2022
Grant Recipient: University of California, Davis
Region: Western
State: California
Graduate Student:
Principal Investigator:
William Horwath
University of California, Davis
Although cover cropping is compatible with almond production and is often implemented in other orchard systems, this practice has never been widely implemented in California. The potential benefits are recognized by growers, especially their value for pollinator forage and soil health but operational concerns, lack of cost-benefit analyses and unclear best management practices have hampered wide adoption. As cover cropping can provide significant sustainability benefits, there is an urgent need to assess and develop feasible and beneficial cover crop systems for California almond production. This article published on the Almond Doctor extension website ( provides insight gathered by a research team assessing the impacts of multiple cover crop management strategies on: 1) soil health, 2) water use and dynamics, 3) bee visitation and pollination, 4) weed and pest pressure (NOW) and 5) almond yields in four orchards across the California Central Valley precipitation gradient.
Fact Sheet
Cynthia Creze, UC Davis
Jeffrey Mitchell, UC Davis
Andreas Westphal, UC Riverside
Danielle Lightle, UC ANR - Cooperative Extension
David Doll, UC ANR - Cooperative Extension
Mohammad Yaghmour, UC ANR - Cooperative Extension
Neal Williams, UC Davis
Amanda Hodson, UC Davis
Houston Wilson, UC Riverside
Kent Daane, UC Berkeley
Brad Hanson, UC Davis
Steven Haring, UC Davis
Cameron Zuber, UC ANR - Cooperative Extension
Amelie Gaudin, UC Davis
Target audiences:
Farmers/Ranchers; Educators; Researchers
Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.