Industry members are being sought for a grower trial looking at a means for combatting aflatoxins in almond orchards. Grower-collaborators will be provided instructions for participation and will be reimbursed for the materials used in the project. The Almond Board of California (ABC) is working to highlight the value of AF36 Prevail. The material has been proven effective in controlling aflatoxins in a variety of crops, including almonds.
“We hope to promote industry-wide awareness of this biological tool,” said Guangwei Huang, ABC Associate Director for Food Research and Technology. “We welcome the interest of growers to take this opportunity as ABC will cover the material costs and reimburse the cost of product for sample collection.”
The research is being led by Themis Michailides, Ph.D., a plant pathologist at the UC Davis Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Parlier. AF36 Prevail is a particular type of mold that does not produce aflatoxin. The atoxigenic mold works to displace the toxigenic mold strains which produce aflatoxin.
“When AF 36 Prevail is sprayed onto orchard ground, those non-toxigenic mold strains will populate and suppress or eliminate the population of toxigenic strains. Therefore, there’s no or less chance to form aflatoxin,” Huang noted. “This product has been used by cotton and pistachio and other industries for many years. Its registration on almonds became official in 2017 after several years of evaluations funded by the Almond Board.”
Over the last two years, ABC has been funding projects to demonstrate the efficacy of AF36 Prevail on 500 acres of almonds. The latest trial has been expanded to 5,000 acres in five growing regions in California. Growers interested in participating in the project have until June 18 to apply. Those interested in learning more about the research project and how to participate can find additional information here.
Listen to Huang’s full interview below.