West Coast Nut Holds Fundraiser in Woodland for Nickels Soil Lab

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View of new spacing trial looking west to the Coast Range from the seat of Nickels Soil Lab (photos courtesy F. Niederholzer.)

JCS Marketing Inc. and West Coast Nut magazine will hold a fundraiser to benefit Nickels Soil Lab, located in Arbuckle, Colusa County, to ensure the important research that has come out of this private research farm will continue long into the future.

The dinner will be held Dec. 16 at the California Agriculture Museum in Woodland. Calif. Tickets cost $250 per person or $1,500 for a table of eight. All donations go directly into the Nickels Trust account for the benefit of the research facility. Tickets can be purchased at myaglife.com/fundraiser or scan the QR code on this page to be taken directly to the site.
The evening event includes a mixer, dinner, raffle giveaways and more. Industry partners have signed on to match donations to Nickels, allowing individual donations to go further. Nurseries, equipment companies and other industry partners who wish to sponsor or otherwise support the event should call JCS Business Development Manager Jay Visser at (559) 352-4456.

Nickels Soil Lab is the largest almond research facility in the United States with 110 acres of almonds and 17 acres of walnuts. Established through the bequest of Leslie J. Nickels, the Nickels Soil Lab is operated by the Leslie J. Nickels Trust in cooperation with the Colusa Water District and the University of California since 1983. Projects emphasize soil and irrigation technologies, but it has also been home to replicated trials on varieties, drought impacts on production, tree spacing, pest management, pruning and other important production practices.

JCS Marketing CEO and Publisher Jason Scott said research that comes out of Nickels has been integral to the success of the California nut industry and West Coast Nut magazine saw an opportunity to help keep that alive for the benefit of the future of the industry.
“West Coast Nut has grown over the last 10 years into the leading magazine for nut growers in the West and we value our partnerships with researchers at the UC Cooperative Extension and the work they do to bring cutting edge research to growers,” Scott said.
“Nickels Soil Lab has been the seat of important innovations that have benefited the entire nut industry and it is important all of us who benefit from this industry give back to help ensure it is here for generations to come. For West Coast Nut it presents an opportunity to give back to the industry that has been so good to us.”

UCCE Farm Advisor Franz Niederholzer, who serves as Nickels Soil Lab manager in addition to his farm advisor duties in Colusa , Sutter and Yuba counites, said Nickels Soil Lab has hosted many projects that could not be done otherwise on private commercial orchards.
“There are a couple projects that Nickels has had over the years that would have been tough to place somewhere else,” Niederholzer said. “So, information developed at Nickels is information that we might not have otherwise. For instance, Nickels hosted a trial to answer the question, ‘What happens to an almond tree if you don’t water it.’ Most growers would not want to host such a trial in their orchard.”

Variety trials, such as this Kester almonds spacing trial with triticale cover crop have, have helped advance adoption of newer varieties.