Douglas Amaral joined UCCE on October 1, 2020 as a Pomology and Water/Soils Area Advisor in Kings and Tulare counties. In his new role, Amaral will focus on tree nut crops (almond, pistachio, and walnut) in Kings County, almond production in Tulare County, and plant-water-soil interactions for permanent tree and vine crops in both Kings and Tulare Counties.
Amaral, who earned a Master’s degree in Plant Nutrition and Soil Fertility from the Federal University of Lavras, Brazil and a dual Ph.D. in Plant and Soil Sciences from the University of Delaware and Federal University of Lavras, brings a solid understanding of agriculture and science from his past experiences.
Prior to joining UCCE, Amaral worked as a postdoctoral researcher and project scientist at the University of California-Davis since April 2017. Working closely with UC faculty, UCCE specialists, UCCE advisors, and farmers, Amaral’s research focused on the evaluation of physiology and biochemistry of plant nutrient uptake, and soil fertility management for mitigating nutrient input loss and improving crop productivity. Part of his research included the evaluation of plant adaptations to environmental stress and change, and sustainable management of cropping systems. His research aimed in developing an outreach program with the objective to inform farmers, stakeholders, government agencies and create guidelines that will help in the development of best management practices to maintain sustainability of crop production and environmental stewardship.
As a Pomology and Water/Soils Area Advisor, Amaral will work and collaborate with pomology and permanent crops advisors in the southern San Joaquin Valley to develop an integrated and complimentary research and extension program that addresses critical local needs. Numerous research needs exist in the tree nuts industries in Kings and Tulare counties, including, but not limited to, irrigation and fertigation efficiency, salinity management, and water use improvement. Right now, Amaral is focused on meeting growers and assessing their needs. He states that the most relevant scientific inquiries start with observations of the challenges faced in the field and the opinions of observant growers and the vision of industry leaders.
His experience in plant science research along with his background in plant nutrition and orchard management provide a strong foundation for him addressing issues related to nut crop production in agricultural systems and in the environment aiming to optimize crop yield and nutrient management techniques preserving both the environment and natural resources in the communities of Kings and Tulare Counties and throughout the Southern San Joaquin Valley. Amaral is very excited to be part of the UC cooperative extension system and he is looking forward to serving growers, producers, processors, and support industries for their research and extension needs regarding Almond, Pistachio and Walnut crops in the Southern San Joaquin Valley.
Amaral is based at the UCCE Kings County Office in Hanford and can be reached at (559) 852-2737.