Interest from California growers in the possibility of growing almonds commercially in Idaho is increasing. University of Idaho researchers have been conducting a major almond trial at the university’s agricultural research and extension station in Parma since 2014. It is not clear whether almonds can be grown economically on a large scale in Idaho yet, but the almond trees have performed well so far.
University of Idaho fruit researcher Essie Fallahi, who heads UI’s pomology program: “I’m still getting interest from California almond growers, a lot more than before. It is amazing how many people from California are contacting us about the trial.”
Although California is the global leader in almond production, growers there are increasingly concerned about burdensome regulations, an uncertain water supply and expensive land prices.
Idahostatejournal.com reports how almonds have been grown on a small scale and only on a trial basis in Idaho over the years, including at the Parma research station. But the current trial that Fallahi is overseeing is a major one that is testing 14 different almond varieties to see how they perform in Idaho growing conditions. The initial results are encouraging, UI researchers say.
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