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011 - Samantha Lopes and Kris Melgard: Seeds for Bees
Episode 116th October 2021 • Almond Journey • Almond Journey
00:00:00 00:26:39

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In this episode we discuss the Seeds for Bees Program with two growers who have taken advantage of this resource. If the Seeds for Bees Program is new to you, it’s designed to encourage the use of cover crops to increase bee forage in California orchards, while improving soil health. Project Apis administers the program to provide free or subsidized cover crop seed mixes and technical support to California growers, giving them the opportunity to try out cover crops at a reduced cost. If you’re listening and interested in participating, enrollment is open until November 15th.

We visit with Samantha Lopes, operations support manager for Farmland Management Services and Turlock almond grower Kris Melgard about their involvement in the program. Samantha and Kris will talk about why they wanted to try cover crops, what results they are seeing so far, what they’ve learned, and whether or not they might recommend the program to other almond growers. 

“I work with the farm managers. We're both in nature and part of it, we depend on it and it depends on us. And so I think our goal is to improve the long-term soil health and biodiversity through our practices. This is just a simple practice that allows us to do it.” - Samantha Lopes

“You see all these flowers (in the cover crops) and then the trees are blooming at the same time. It makes everything worth it when everything comes together like that. So 100% worth it in my opinion.” - Kris Melgard

In Today’s episode: 

  • Meet Samantha Lopes, operations support manager for Farmland Management Services and Turlock almond grower Kris Melgard
  • Discover the Seeds for Bees Program and learn about the advantages and support it offers
  • Learn about the benefits cover crops offer to almond producers beyond supporting and encouraging the bee population

ABC Update

Josette Lewis, chief scientific officer of the Almond Board of California, joins us to discuss the many programs offered to support bee friendly initiatives. Some companies are willing to pay premiums for Bee Friendly Farming certified almonds. No matter what your motivations are, the Bee+ scholarship was created by the Almond Board to get the word out about these opportunities. Wondering if cover crops might work for your operation? The Almond Board of California’s new Cover Crop Best Management Practices is a great place to start. 

Don’t forget to visit the Almonds Conference Website to get up to date information and to start planning your involvement.

The Almond Journey Podcast is brought to you by the Almond Board of California. This show explores how growers, handlers, and other stakeholders are making things work in their operations to drive the almond industry forward. Host Tim Hammerich visits with leaders throughout the Central Valley of California and beyond who are finding innovative ways to improve their operations, connect with their communities, and advance the almond industry.


ABC recognizes the diverse makeup of the California almond industry and values contributions offered by its growers, handlers, and allied industry members. However, the opinions, services and products discussed in existing and future podcast episodes are by no means an endorsement or recommendation from ABC. The Almond Journey podcast is not an appropriate venue to express opinions on national, state, local or industry politics. As a Federal Marketing Order, the Almond Board of California is prohibited from lobbying or advocating on legislative issues, as well as setting field and market prices.