More than 300 almond growers are expected at an emergency drought almond irrigation management meeting scheduled for March 31, in Kerman, Calif.

The University of California sponsored meeting is scheduled to start with registration at 7:30 a.m., at Panoche Creek Packing at 1221 South Madera Ave., in Kerman, according to Brent Holtz, Madera County UC Cooperative Extension pomology farm advisor, who organized the meeting.

The first presentation will be at 8 a.m.

Panoche Creek is one of the largest independent almond packers in the state and many of its growers are almond producers in the Westlands Water District, which recently learned that it will not receive any irrigation water from the federal Bureau of Reclamation this year due to statewide drought conditions and court rulings protecting fish in the San Joaquin/Sacramento Delta.

Here is the program:

• 8:00 a.m. – Fine-tuning your micro-irrigation system, Larry Schwankl, Irrigation Specialist, UC Davis.

• 8:30-10 – Water relations, water requirements, and irrigation scheduling; Drought strategies: How to best manage a limited water supply and impact on current and future production; Questions/Discussion; David Goldhamer, Irrigation Specialist, UC Davis.

• 10:15 – Break

• 10:30 – Kaolin-processed clay on almond bud failure and yield, Brent Holtz, Farm Advisor, UCCE Madera County.

• 11:00 – Use of reflective particle films to increase water use efficiency, Michael Glenn, USDA-ARS-Kearneysville, West Virginia.

• 11:30 – Irrigating almonds with groundwater, Daniel Munk, Farm Advisor, UCCE Fresno County.

• Noon – Acute drought impacts on groundwater basins, Thomas Harter, Water Management and Policy, UC Davis.

• 12:30 p.m. – Lunch sponsored by Panoche Creek Packing, Superior Almond Hulling, Western Ag Chipping, Agri Valley Irrigation, The Gowan Co., Midland Tractor, American West and West Valley Aviation, Britz Simplot Grower Solutions, Tessenderlo Kerley, University of California, and the Almond Board of California.

Please RSVP for lunch by March 27, to Kristi at Panoche Creek at 559-449-1721 or fax 559-435-3481.