Graduate Student Kelley Drechsler’s Almond Orchard Irrigation Research Continues to Generate Interest

14 December 2018

By Benjamin Dally

Earlier this year, Biological and Agricultural Engineering graduate student Kelley Drechsler was featured in the Appeal-Democrat for her work on irrigation in almond orchards. The buzz surrounding her work continues as Drechsler is featured in industry magazine, West Coast Nut’s December 2018 edition in an article written by Julie R. Johnson.

“Her research seems to be generating a lot of interest among almond growers due to its potential benefits,” said Assistant Professor Kisekka. Kisekka and Dr. Franz Niederholzer, Pomologist at Nickels Soil Lab help support Kelley’s research.

Her research could potentially help increase crop yield while decreasing water usage. Drechsler is using a more targeted irrigation approach where specific varieties are watered differently rather than all watered the same.

Traditionally, almonds are all watered on one irrigation system and the watering is best suited for only one variety, the Nonpareil, as it is the variety that is the most commercially viable. However, by researching whether or not crop yield is affected by different watering patterns for different varieties, she hopes to generate data that will support almond growers’ decisions about their irrigation practices.

The results from Drechsler’s research will really only become apparent at next year’s harvest. It seems without a doubt that there will be many people anxiously awaiting her results.