Saturday, October 13, 2018

Final House Call for The Almond Doctor

He guided almond growers through deep freezes, rainstorms, drought and tree diseases. He dispensed sage advice about combating tree diseases and feeding crucial nutrients to the soil.

Often dubbed The Almond Doctor – a title he liked to downplay despite the catchy title on the blog – David Doll has written about everything almonds during his tenure as University of California Cooperative Extension pomologist and almond expert in Merced County. His column featured eye-catching titles such as “Got Voles? Perhaps anthraquinone is the answer” or straight forward titles like “Almond Frost Warning and Protection Methods - 2018.”

“David exemplifies the best in cooperative extension work. His ability to communicate and outreach to all types of growers and those in the industry is unparalleled,” says Marcia Gibbs, director of the Sustainable Cotton Project and San Joaquin Sustainable Farming Project. “He makes folks comfortable with his easy style and has an amazing ability to answer questions, supplying insights from not just his own experience butbacking his answers with scientific data on the spot. David is one of the best advisors in the UCCE system.” 

Gibbs has worked with David since he started with UCCE more than a decade ago. The farm advisor has become a fixture at almond field days and steadily earned the respect of growers during his tenure.  He is a major draw at field days.

“David is truly an innovative thinker who understands what growers need to know, always tailoring his talks to meet their needs.His willingness to step across county lines to meet the needs of Fresno and Madera County growers as well as those in Merced shows his commitment to the extension model.” Gibbs says.

“At almond meetings during the growing season and we can always count on David to find the time to come and speak with growers. When David is on the agenda, we can count on a good turnout of interested growers with great questions. Our meeting evaluations always rank David at the top of the agenda. Growers know they can bring their damaged nuts, tree branches and pressing pest or disease issues and David will get them the information they need. He follows up and provides a high level of technical expertise, tempered with a good understanding of the pressures facing California farmers.”


Doll will make his final Almond Field Day appearance on Wednesday at West Valley Hulling, 45475 W. Panoche Road, Firebaugh. The free meeting with be from 10 a.m. to noon. Growers also will hear from Kris Tollerup,UC Statewide IPM advisor who will share information on managing navel orangeworm in almonds. Nick Tatarakis, Manager and Steve Malanca, Field Rep at West Valley Hulling will give a short talk about the huller followed by a tour through the facility.

David earned his Bachelor of Sciencedegree in plant biology from Purdue University in 2004. In 2008, he earned a master’s degree in plant pathology from the University of California, Davis. He has specialized in almonds, pistachios, walnuts and urban forestry.

David boasts an extensive bibliography, writing about issues ranging from “Climatic constraints to the potential of Microsphaeropsis amaranthis as a bioherbicide for common waterhemp” to “drought management in almonds.”His California agriculture article contributes include “Biological control program is being developed for brown marmorated stink bug” and “Managing the almond and stone fruit replant disease complex with less soil fumigant.”

“David’s work is of the highest caliber. His ideas and forward thinking are irreplaceable. David has put in endless hours of time helping make UCCE Merced a well-respected source for quality service and information,” Gibbs says.

 David will definitely be missed by Valley almond growers. Don’t miss the opportunity on Wednesday to wish him well on his new adventure.
COTTON FARM TOUR: This popular eventis back, offering a behind-the-scenes look at cotton production. The day-long tour is set for Thursday, October 25. Leading experts and professionals will offer insights about cotton cultivation and processing, addressing issues such as water use, cotton farming practices and the state of the market for Cleaner Cotton™ fiber. Cost is $40 a person and covers bus transportation, a catered lunch at the Cardella Winery in Mendota and snacks and water. The tour starts at 8:15 a.m. at the Best Western Apricot Inn, 46290 West Panoche Road, Firebaugh. Register through the Sustainable Cotton Project’s Eventbrite site.

To reserve a motel room at the special event price, contact the Apricot Inn at
 (559) 659-1444 and ask for “Sustainable Cotton Project — Cotton Farm Tour” rate.

See you there.


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