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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 1219: VII International Symposium on Almonds and Pistachios

A calendar to link almond phenology to climate risk

Authors:   P.T. Hayman, D.S. Thomas
Keywords:   almond, climate risk, climate change, phenology
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2018.1219.23
Abstract:
There are a range of weather and climate risks for almond production. We used a phenology calendar, based on the layout of integrated pest management calendars to identify the weather and climate risks and the time of year that they occurred. These risks were ranked for economic severity based on likelihood of occurrence and likely economic loss. A total of 12 risks were identified that could be classified as being related to either temperature, rainfall and evapotranspiration, or wind and hail. Some risks encompassed several weather factors. For example, the risk of rain at harvest (ranked as most important risk), is related to excessive moisture caused by rain and insufficient drying which is best approximated by evapotranspiration, which is itself a complex relationship between elements including incoming solar radiation, wind, temperature and humidity. Other risks such as synchronicity of flowering between pollinators are related to both varieties accumulating their respective chill and heat requirements to flower at similar times. Risks could also be categorised as being related to either single weather events (e.g., rain at harvest, frost or heatwave) or of a longer nature (e.g., insufficient chill or seasonal drought). Workshops spanned the Australian almond growing region (Virginia, Renmark, Mildura and Griffith) and were an effective communication tool to commence discussions on risk management strategies in current and future climates.

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