The four-day field tour includes stops at major nurseries, packing houses and innovative fruit and nut tree growers in California's Central Valley, hosted by operation managers. Participants travel by 8-passenger vans, driven by course instructors. See our Fees & Enrollment page for Field Tour fees.
The following schedule is representative of tour activities and the hosts involved. However, as the course evolves, a unique schedule is developed for each tour.
Visits and field demonstrations at University of California facilities in the Central Valley
Nickels Soil Lab, a 200-acre research facility located in the Sacramento Valley, is a key center for nut crop research in California. Research at Nickels has advanced irrigation practices, particularly in the development of drip systems, scheduling and fertigation. Other aspects of the work at Nickels include higher-density planting, variety and rootstock development and dormant sprays for pest management. The administration of Nickels is a unique public-private collaboration, with the harvest from its almond and walnut acreage contributing to facility maintenance.
The Kearney Center, located in the San Joaquin Valley, houses a multi-disciplinary team of UC faculty. Kearney has achieved international acclaim for leadership in the development of new fruit and nut varieties, innovative crop management and postharvest technologies. A stop at Kearney provides tour participants with an opportunity to interact with faculty and see some of its resources including a postharvest lab and over 250 acres of research orchards, vineyards and fields.