More than 100 avocado growers and industry representatives attended the inaugural field day, Jan. 23, at the California Avocado Commission's Pine Tree Ranch Demonstration Grove in Santa Paula.
During the event, attendees saw pruning demonstrations and learned about the importance of sanitizing pruning equipment to minimize disease spread.
The demonstration grove is part of a much larger production research program led by the commission, according to a news release.
“We now require all CAC-funded research projects to have an outreach component, and Pine Tree Ranch provides us with the venue to make our outreach goals a reality," research project manager Tim Spann said in the release. "This project is 100 percent grower-need driven.”
The 11-acre site in Ventura County is planted to 2 acres of avocados and 9 acres of lemons that have since been removed to make way for additional avocado plantings.
The project calls for plantings of different densities, rootstocks and varieties so growers can see how the various options affect tree growth, yield, fruit quality and grove management.
The project is being developed jointly with Cal Poly Pomona University. University representatives will help guide the development plan along with an advisory group of California avocado growers and grove managers.