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Yara and Heliae launch BetterSoil Alliance for Calif. almond industry

Yara North America Inc. with Heliae Agriculture has launched the BetterSoil Alliance to support the California almond industry in the pursuit of sustainable farming practices to improve water productivity and soil health, while decreasing their carbon footprint. Through the alliance, sustainably focused solutions will be put to the test to understand their collective impact on critical issues the almond industry faces, including water scarcity, drought and rising temperatures; all which are challenging the long-term viability of the almond industry.

Almond growers and advisors are invited to participate in implementing the solutions through customized crop and soil nutrition programs that will be developed by mid-November. Participants will be eligible to receive a sustainability reward based on water productivity and nitrogen use efficiency, as well as recognition in the alliance. Data collected from participating growers’ orchards will be used to better understand the positive impact the solutions implemented in the program can have.

Yara North America Inc. and Heliae Agriculture will help fund a portion of the sustainability rewards, however, to acknowledge as many growers as possible, the companies are calling on the industry to participate through pledges to help fund the sustainability awards.

“To support the longevity of the California almond industry we are focused on bringing practical solutions that positively impact food production by improving water use productivity and soil health” said Debbie Watts, vice president of Yara North America. “We know by collaborating with others across the industry — growers, advisors, hullers, processors and food companies for instance — we can achieve more. This is why we have launched the BetterSoil Alliance, with the belief that industry partners will come together and accelerate building out sustainable solutions through discovery and collaboration to address this urgent need.”

Participating growers and advisors will have access to the agronomic expertise of Yara North America, Inc. and Heliae Agriculture. Additionally, they will receive support in implementing crop nutrition and soil management solutions that include YaraLiva Calcium Nitrate; produced in Norway and featuring a very low carbon footprint, and PhycoTerra a superior, nature-based soil microbial food, specifically produced to feed the dormant microbes-including fungi and bacteria. Yara North America, Inc. and Heliae Agriculture hope the program will help demonstrate these products together synergistically drive almond yield and quality, while improving soil health and structure.

Moreover, independent third-party trials show a measurable improvement in water productivity (crop per drop) when YaraLiva Calcium Nitrate and PhycoTerra products are used in tandem.

“Improving soil quality serves as the foundation to improving water use that help optimize crop yield and quality," said Norm Davy of Heliae Agriculture. “Between the increased consumer demand for almonds and tightening water supply in California, growers need solutions that increase yield and improve soil health and soil structure for future crops.”

To learn more about the BetterSoil Alliance visit www.yara.us/bettersoil/.

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