ARS geneticist Craig Ledbetter is developing self-pollinating almond trees that can produce a harvest of nuts without insect pollination.
Ag Research Scientists Develop Self-pollinating Almond Trees
By Alfredo Flores
Washington--Self-pollinating almond trees that can produce a bountiful harvest without insect pollination are being developed by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists. This is good news for almond growers who face rising costs for insect pollination because of nationwide shortages of honey bees due to Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) and other factors.
ARS geneticist Craig Ledbetter, at the agency’s Crop Diseases, Pests and Genetics Research Unit near Parlier, Calif., is developing this new line of self-pollinating almond trees.
Self-pollinating almonds are not new. The Tuono variety, originally from Spain, has been around for centuries. But its traits are not attractive when compared to California’s most popular almond, Nonpareil.
Read more about this research in the April 2010 issue of Agricultural Research magazine.