a1 Department of Plant Sciences, University of California, California, USA.
a2 School of Education and College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, University of California, Davis, California, USA.
a3 Department of Human and Community Development, University of California, Davis, California, USA.
University of California (UC) scientists have established critical values (CVs) for almond production, but the nutritional information the CVs provide may be outdated and insufficient. In December 2006, researchers at UC Davis conducted focus group interviews with a sample of stakeholders in California's almond industry. The focus groups were designed to collect information relating to factors affecting growers' nutrition decisions, priorities in education and research relating to plant nutrition, and expected consequences of environmental regulation for the industry. Stakeholders identified problems with the CVs and voiced concern about the future of the almond industry in light of impending environmental regulations. Many stakeholders identified university research as a way to protect the industry by providing strong, recent scientific data on which nutritional limits and environmental regulations can be based. The focus groups served as a useful research method for obtaining detailed information about stakeholders' motivations and priorities and also for informing a quantitative follow-up survey that was subsequently mailed to a larger population of Californian almond growers.
(Accepted March 05 2010)
(Online publication May 19 2010)