Almond Board of California 2024 Elections Begin April 29

Voting ends May 23

Voting begins today, April 29, to select two independent grower positions and two independent handler positions on the Almond Board of California Board of Directors. Alternate seats for those spots are also on the ballot. Voting ends May 23.

Candidates for the independent grower positions:

Grower Position #1, Member (1-year term):             Grower Position #1, Alternate:

Paul Ewing, Los Banos (incumbent)                         Katie Staack, Hughson (incumbent)

Grower Position #3, Member (3-year term):              Grower Position #3, Alternate

Joe Gardiner, Earlimart (incumbent)                          No declared candidate

Candidates for the independent handler positions:

Handler Position #2, Member (3-year term):             Handler Position #2, Alternate:

Bob Silveira, Williams (incumbent)                            Dexter Long, Ballico (incumbent)

Justin Morehead, Coalinga (petitioner)

Handler Position #3, Member (1-year term):             Handler Position #3, Alternate:

Darren Rigg, Le Grand (incumbent)                           Chad DeRose, McFarland (incumbent)

Ballots and instructions have been mailed to all independent growers and handlers whose names are on file with ABC. Ballots must be received by ABC by May 23. Any independent grower or handler who does not receive a ballot can contact Toni Arellano at tarellano@almondboard.com.

“Every vote is important, and it’s equally important to have as much of the industry as possible represented in the voting,” said ABC President and CEO Clarice Turner. “The Board of Directors represents more than 7,600 growers and 100 handlers. They guide the work of the Almond Board to help the industry build a positive future in these complicated times.”

All details, documents, open positions, timelines and frequently asked questions can be found at Almonds.com/Elections.

The ABC board is made up of five handler and five grower representatives. It sets policy and recommends budgets in major areas, including marketing, production research, advertising, public relations, nutrition research, statistical reporting, quality control and food safety.

Results will be announced June 1 and the new board will start its term Aug. 1.

2024-04-29T09:18:15-07:00April 29th, 2024|

Bearing almond acreage drops slightly – first time in decades

The decrease follows two years of drops in overall almond acreage.

Courtesy of the Almond Board of California

California’s bearing almond acreage decreased slightly over the past year, according to a new report from Land IQ to the Almond Board of California (ABC). It is the first time since at least 1995 that the total of bearing acres has not grown.

Land IQ’s 2024 Standing Acreage Initial Estimate issued Wednesday looked at bearing acreage – orchards planted before 2022 and that have matured enough to produce a crop for the coming 2024 harvest. It estimated that bearing almond orchards at harvest will cover 1.373 million acres across California, a decrease of about 600 acres.

In addition, Land IQ estimates that approximately 71,000 acres of orchards will be removed by the end of the crop year, adding to the 83,000 acres removed in the 2023-24 crop year, according to Land IQ’s estimate issued in November last year.

While the bearing acreage drop may be small – far less than 1 percent – it marks the first time since at least 1995 that bearing acreage has not increased, according to numbers issued previously by the USDA-National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA-NASS), and with the orchard removals continues a trend over recent years of decreasing almond acreage in California.

“The decrease in bearing acreage and continued orchard removals, coupled with drops in overall acreage and non-bearing acreage the last two years, signal a probable trend toward lower overall California almond acreage,” said Clarice Turner, ABC president and CEO. “We continue to see strong shipments this year, so we know global demand for California almonds continues to grow. There is no doubt that almonds will continue to have a very significant role in California and global agriculture and food industries for the foreseeable future.”

The Land IQ report is a snapshot of the coming 2024 harvest but does not offer an estimate on the actual almond yield this 2024-25 crop year. The first look at yield will come on May 10 with USDA-NASS’ Subjective Estimate. A fuller picture of crop size will come with USDA-NASS’ Objective Report in July.

Land IQ’s estimate covers bearing acreage and removals from Sept. 1, 2023 to Aug. 31, 2024. Note that the almond crop year runs Aug. 1-July 31, so this estimate looks at the harvest for the 2024-25 crop year.

Land IQ will issue a final acreage report on the 2024-25 crop year in November that will include total acreage along with bearing and non-bearing acres. Their report in November 2023 found that California’s total almond acreage had dropped two years in a row to 1.56 million acres.

Land IQ’s Initial Estimate and its Final Acreage Estimate in November are commissioned by ABC to provide statistical transparency and a robust picture of California almonds to industry stakeholders around the world. In 2018, ABC first commissioned Land IQ, a Sacramento-based agricultural and environmental scientific research and consulting firm, to develop a comprehensive, living map of California almonds, with the first report issues in 2019. The map is the result of more than a decade of research.

2024-04-24T13:46:18-07:00April 24th, 2024|

UK suspends tariffs on all raw almonds beginning April 11

Courtesy of the Almond Board 

Almond Board of California thanks industry and government partners for helping reduce obstacles to California almond imports.

The United Kingdom’s government announced it would suspend tariffs for at least two years on raw kernel and inshell almonds from all origins – including the U.S. – beginning April 11, 2024.

The Almond Board of California has been working for many years with the UK’s Nut and Dried Fruit Trade Association (NDFTA), the group that represents the UK processors buying California almonds. This past year, ABC provided factual information and trade data to NDFTA, which they used to officially apply to have tariffs suspended on imported almonds.

“We are grateful for our long-time partnership with the UK’s Nut and Dried Fruit Trade Association and appreciate the UK government’s approval of the application to suspend tariffs on almonds,” said Julie Adams, ABC’s vice president for global technical and regulatory affairs. “This will certainly benefit UK consumers with increased availability of healthy almond products.”

The tariffs – 4% on inshell almonds and 2% on raw kernels – have been in place since the UK left the European Union in 2021.

UK trade officials on March 18 issued a list of commodities, including almonds, that will have tariffs suspended until June 30, 2026. UK officials said there is a possibility they will reassess before that date, possibly to extend the suspension or make a permanent change.

Estimates put the costs of the soon-to-be-suspended tariffs to UK importers at about $4 million a year. The suspension will allow UK importers to offer a more competitive price on raw California almonds to UK processors, and ultimately to consumers.

UK duties of 8-10% still remain on roasted almonds (which includes flavored almonds), 8% on marzipan and almond flour, and 20% on almond paste.

“We plan to work with NDFTA to assess further tariff suspensions in the UK, and with other partners overseas to identify opportunities for additional tariff suspension requests to lower costs for importers and processors and boost demand for California almonds,” said Keith Schneller, ABC’s senior advisor on trade policy.

2024-04-16T08:00:31-07:00April 16th, 2024|

North San Joaquin Valley, California Issued ‘AA’ BDO Zone Rating for Tree Nut Biomass

Courtesy of the Almond Board of California

BEAM Circular, the Almond Board of California, Stanislaus County and Ecostrat are pleased to announce the issue of a rare ‘AA’ rating to the North San Joaquin Valley Bioeconomy Development Opportunity Zone centered in Modesto, CA, North America’s first BDO Zone rating for Orchard Biomass, Nut Tree Shells and Almond Hulls.

The North San Joaquin Valley BDO Zone investment grade rating denotes ‘very high quality’ feedstock supply chains and infrastructure. The region exhibits a longstanding industry supported by 6,300 nut tree growers and suppliers along with a robust network of processors and separators of nuts from shells and hulls in concentrated locations. Decreasing local demand for local biomass along with significant quantities of feedstock currently available for the cost of transportation create ideal conditions for large-scale bio-project development. Significant infrastructure advantages include flexible zoning, access to natural gas, rail connectivity, and proximity to an extensive highway system.

“The ‘AA’ rating for the North San Joaquin Valley’s BDO Zone is a testament to our region’s unique positioning for global leadership in the bioeconomy,” stated Karen Warner, CEO of BEAM Circular. “Local communities here are proactively investing in the infrastructure, partnerships, and innovation that will allow us to grow world-class bioindustrial manufacturing facilities in the heart of the most productive agricultural state in America. This region is ready to support and scale the future of sustainable bioproduction.”

“Almond biomass is uniquely concentrated with well established transport systems. With this rating and the research investments made by the almond industry, we stand ready to partner with companies in bio-based industries,” said Josette Lewis, Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of the Almond Board of California.

“Rated for over a million tons of underutilized project-available feedstock, this first ‘AA’ BDO Zone rating for tree nut biomass underscores the high level of regional readiness for biomanufacturing within the North San Joaquin Valley,” said Jordan Solomon, Chairman of the BDO Zone Initiative. “The zone offers very low-risk supply chains and is positioned as a prime target for top-tier and innovative bio-based projects. The collaborative efforts of organizations dedicated to realizing this BDO Zone highlight the region’s visionary approach and the bold stance it takes in the global bioeconomy.”

“Stanislaus County is proud to be investing in the growth of our region’s bioproduction leadership,” said Mani Grewal, Chairman of the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors. “We are building upon our historic strengths in agriculture and manufacturing to grow the bio-based industries of the future. We welcome collaboration with new projects that create quality jobs and advance the economic vitality of our community.”

To see the full BDO Zone Rating for North San Joaquin Valley please click here, or visit www.bdozone.org.

BDO Zone Business Contacts:

Guangwei Huang,

Associate Director for Food Research & Technology

Almond Board of California

ghuang@almondboard.com

 

Matthew Godinez
Community Engagement Director
BEAM Circular
matthew@beamcircular.org
(209) 241 0562

About the North San Joaquin Valley

The North San Joaquin Valley (NSJV) is the ideal location for scaling globally competitive biomanufacturing. The NSJV is a tri-county region of 1.6 million people consisting of Merced, San Joaquin, and Stanislaus Counties, located in the heart of the most productive agricultural land in the United States. A global leader in large-scale agricultural production and food processing, the region’s combination of existing manufacturing infrastructure and abundant biomass feedstocks are unparalleled. The NSJV’s proximity to the San Francisco Bay Area and regional centers of technology innovation gives it access to world-class biotechnology and advanced manufacturing innovation.

About BEAM Circular

BEAM Circular is building a vibrant regional ecosystem for the circular bioeconomy in California’s agricultural heartland. Anchored in the North San Joaquin Valley, the non-profit organization facilitates public-private collaboration through the BioEconomy, Agriculture, & Manufacturing (BEAM) Initiative to scale the most promising innovations in bioindustrial manufacturing and to advance solutions that support economic and environmental outcomes for local communities.

For more information about BEAM Circular, visit www.beamcircular.org. The BDO Zone Local Development Leader (LDL) is Matthew Godinez, Community Engagement Director (matthew@beamcircular.org).

About the Almond Board of California

California almonds make life better by what we grow and how we grow. The Almond Board of California promotes natural, wholesome and quality almonds through leadership in strategic market development, innovative research, and accelerated adoption of industry best practices on behalf of the more than 7,600 almond farmers and processors in California, most of whom are multi-generational family operations. Established in 1950 and based in Modesto, California, the Almond Board of California is a non-profit organization that administers a grower-enacted Federal Marketing Order under the supervision of the United States Department of Agriculture.

For more information about the Almond Board of California, visit www.almonds.com or contact Guangwei Huang, ABC Associate Director for Food Research & Technology (ghuang@almondboard.com).

About Stanislaus County

Stanislaus County is located in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley, the geographical center of California. The county, with an economy and heritage deeply rooted in the agricultural sector, is quickly becoming one of the fastest growing regions of the state and a center of bioindustrial innovation. The bioindustrial manufacturing sector was identified as a strategic priority industry in the Stanislaus 2030 Investment Blueprint, and Stanislaus County provided seed funding to launch the BioEconomy, Agriculture, & Manufacturing (BEAM) Initiative in January 2023.

For more information about Stanislaus County, please contact Sonya Severo, Public Relations & Communications Director (severos@stancounty.com).

About The BDO Zone Initiative

The BDO Zone Initiative certifies regional readiness for bio-based manufacturing, creates global connections with project developers, and ignites an influx of clean energy opportunities.

A BDO Zone rating is an internationally recognized standards-based technical risk assessment of biomass feedstock, supply chain, and infrastructure risk with respect to the development potential of new biofuel, renewable chemical, biogas, and bioproduct plants. Investment grade ratings attract new bio-based manufacturing plants to the areas where they are most likely to succeed– and create jobs.

For more information on the BDO Zone Initiative, please contact info@bdozone.org. To view all current and upcoming BDO Zone designations, visit www.bdozone.org or check out the BDO Zone LinkedIn page for all news and updates.

About Ecostrat

Ecostrat is the North American Leader in supplying biomass due diligence for biofuels, renewable chemicals, biogas, and bio-product project development and finance. Ecostrat led the USDOE/BETO funded project to develop the new investment Standards and Ratings for Biomass Supply Chain Risk

which were subsequently used in the development of the CSA W209:21 Biomass supply chain risk National Standard of Canada.

Ecostrat’s Advisory Group combines the BSCR Standards with powerful predictive analytics to understand and minimize supply chain risk. It’s Biomass Supply Group has 25 years of experience in sourcing and supplying more than 5 million tons of biomass feedstock for bioenergy, biofuel, and biochemical projects across North America.

Jordan Solomon is Chairman of the BDO Zone Initiative and President of Ecostrat. He can be reached at jordan.solomon@ecostrat.com. For more information about Ecostrat, visit the company’s website at www.ecostrat.com or check out the Ecostrat LinkedIn page for all news and updates.

2024-02-21T07:52:29-08:00February 21st, 2024|

Clarice Turner: Almond Growers Dig In to Find What the Best Practices Are

There is a Halo that Surrounds Almonds

By Patrick Cavanaugh, with the Ag Information Radio Network

Clarice Turner, a ninth-generation California farming family will take the reins of the Almond Board of California at the end of this month, after Richard Waycott steps down after 21 years.

Turner comments on how she prepared for this job, traveling throughout the state in listening sessions with growers and others in the industry. “It’s interesting as I talk to people outside the industry, you realize the halo that almonds have, and how we are so revered as being the leading edge in so many things. And talking to growers you hear that reinforced from people who want to be 100 percent organic to biodynamic,” said Turner.

“Growers told me that they have been farming the same ground for four generations and we have been taking care of the soil, and it is not certified to do any of that, but we know what we know because we have generations to protect. We want to hand this down to our families that will come beyond us,” noted Turner. “So, their care and stewardship are there and they want to dig in to find out what the best practices are.”

And Turner credited almond growers with something very special regarding bees. “This was astounding to me when you think about bees, 86 percent of the bee-friendly certified farms are almond orchards. It’s incredible, all the things that are already happening because it’s the right thing,” she said.

2023-12-19T08:55:26-08:00December 19th, 2023|

Clarice Turner Will Take the Reins of the Almond Board of California Soon

Turner Comes from A Ninth Generation California Farming Family

By Patrick Cavanaugh with the Ag Information Radio Network

Meet Clarice Turner, who will be the new President and CEO of the Almond Board of California at the end of this month. She is following Richard Waycott who is stepping down as the President and CEO of the Almond Board following 21 years of service.

She comments on her new role at the Almond Board of California. “I could not be more pleased to be in this role. My passion for ag stems a long time back to 1773, that’s nine generations of being a Californian family, and my family has farmed so many different crops over the years as things come and go,” noted Turner.  “I used to do peaches in Modesto, but try to find a stone fruit in Modesto now, there are not too many of them.”

“But it’s a great pleasure to have this role because I’m so passionate about agriculture in the state and I’m worried about it honestly, and the opportunity to be able to make a difference on behalf of a lot of agriculture because we represent such a huge category within the state and frankly within the U.S,” she said.

“That’s a great honor, and pleasure, and I’m not sure exactly how we’re going to go about it yet, but I’m learning like crazy,” noted Turner.  “And what I do know is that there is an amazing group of people out there who care deeply and have lots of ideas, and we are very fortunate to have leaders in the industry who want to collaborate and work together. That gives me a lot of hope and fuels my passion to be able to help take us forward,” she noted.

2023-12-13T22:48:19-08:00December 13th, 2023|

California Almond Acreage Drops Again in 2023

Courtesy of the Almond Board of California

First time since at least 1995 that total almond acreage dropped two consecutive years.

California’s total almond acreage dropped again in 2023, this time by about 74,000 acres, making two years in a row that acreage has decreased, something that has not happened since at least 1995, according to a new report from Land IQ to the Almond Board of California (ABC).

Total acreage dropped from just under 1.64 million acres last year to about 1.56 million in 2023, even though bearing acres – orchards producing almonds and planted in 2020 or earlier – increased slightly to 1.37 million acres compared with 1.34 million acres at this time last year. But the amount of non-bearing acreage – new orchards planted in 2021, 2022 or 2023 – sank about 105,000 acres from 294,000 acres in 2022 to 189,000 acres in 2023, according to the Land IQ 2023 Standing Acreage Final Estimate.

“The latest Land IQ California almond acreage analysis continues to point to a reduction in total acreage driven by fewer new plantings and an increase in orchard removals,” said Richard Waycott, ABC president and CEO. “The 1.37 million bearing acreage in 2023 established a new record, reflecting plantings in 2020 or earlier, but going forward, the analysis points to a lowering of bearing acreage in 2024.”

Orchard removals increased again in 2023 to about 83,000 acres as of Aug. 31, compared with 60,400 acres removed in 2022 and continuing a trend of an increasing pace of removals that started in 2021, according to the accompanying Land IQ 2023 Removal Update. That contributes to the analysis pointing to fewer acres next year and possibly beyond, Waycott said.

In addition, nearly 41,000 acres are classified as either stressed or abandoned. They were included in the standing acreage total because the orchards “may have the ability to recover,” Land IQ said.

The estimates come from multiple lines of evidence, including agronomic and remote sensing knowledge, robust on-the-ground verification, customized image analysis, artificial intelligence and more. Land IQ said the 2023 standing acreage estimate is 98.8 percent accurate.

Land IQ’s acreage estimates are commissioned by ABC to provide statistical transparency and a robust picture of California almonds to industry stakeholders around the world. In 2018, ABC first commissioned Land IQ, a Sacramento-based agricultural and environmental scientific research and consulting firm, to develop a comprehensive, living map of California almonds. The map is the result of more than a decade of research.

2023-11-21T11:14:04-08:00November 21st, 2023|

Almond Board Directors and CEO listen and talk with industry on 8-stop tour

Courtesy of the Almond Board of California

The informal settings encouraged deep conversations, honest questions and shared ideas.

The Almond Board of California Board of Directors and President and CEO Clarice Turner engaged almond industry members up and down the Central Valley in an eight-stop listening tour to answer questions and hear concerns and ideas.

Board members and Turner hosted gatherings starting in Shafter in the south valley and ending in Orland in the north to hear what growers and handlers have on their minds and to give people a chance to ask questions in informal settings.

“While the long-term outlook for the industry seems promising, the short-term economics have left many growers contemplating their next steps,” said Alexi Rodriguez, chair of ABC’s Board of Directors. “The listening sessions were a great opportunity to engage with industry members to share information, experiences and ideas. It was also great for Clarice to hear from stakeholders in each region, as their challenges and priorities vary. Unfortunately, the Almond Board can’t solve every problem and many will be left to make some tough decisions going forward. That said, the Board and the organization are working hard to tackle the areas where we can make a positive difference for the future of the industry.”

The listening sessions were casual and designed to be small so the questions and conversations could go deep. They are one of the ways Turner, who started as ABC president and CEO in September, is introducing herself to the industry and learning more about the people in the industry she serves.

“I enjoyed meeting so many interesting, caring and knowledgeable people across the valley,” Turner said. “I heard many stories and learned so much about the history of this great industry, people’s hopes and concerns, and about their commitment to their land, roots, communities and to almonds. Despite the current difficult macro environment, we had very constructive conversations about the future of the industry. It was an inspiring week.”

Subjects ranged from broad policy to technical questions, and the conversations will help guide sessions at The Almond Conference 2023 in Sacramento Dec. 5-7 where topics and issues will be addressed by experts during in-depth panel discussions. Rodriguez, Turner and Board of Directors members will also be available at The Almond Conference for industry members who have questions of their own.

2023-11-07T15:12:21-08:00November 7th, 2023|

Deion Sanders Owns His Prime with California Almonds This Season

Courtesy of California Almonds

Hall of Fame athlete and now collegiate coach Deion “Coach Prime” Sanders and California Almonds are teaming up for a partnership of a lifetime to help consumers own their PRIME. Being in your prime is a mindset, and the grind to own your prime never stops. That’s why Coach Prime and California Almonds are encouraging people to be smart about recovery. Almonds are rich in nutrients that can help with exercise recovery – making them THE food to own your prime.

A perfect exercise food, almonds may improve your recovery response from physical activity. Initial research, funded by the Almond Board of California, conducted among 64 U.S. adults ages 30-65 who are occasional exercisers found that most study participants who ate almonds experienced reduced fatigue and tension during muscle recovery, increased leg and lower back strength, and decreased muscle damage during the first day of recovery.

Coach Prime knows hard work means being strategic about recovery, which is why he adds almonds to his routine for their exercise recovery benefits. Prime Time never ends whether you’re a weekend warrior or a competitive athlete – there’s no “off the clock,” so you have to keep that energy, confidence and consistency up, something Coach Prime instills in his team.

2023-08-24T09:20:52-07:00August 24th, 2023|

USDA Final Forecast Projects Slightly Larger 2023 Almond Crop

Courtesy of the California Almond Board

The 2023 California Almond Objective Measurement Report published Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA-NASS) estimates that the crop harvested in 2023 will come in at 2.6 billion meat pounds, 1% percent above last year’s 2.57 billion pounds.

The estimate is up 4 percent from USDA-NASS’s Subjective Forecast in May and comes after one of the wettest winters on record, limited bee flights because of rain and wind, and a cool spring. USDA’s Forecasted yield is 1,880 pounds per acre, down 20 pounds from 2022 and the lowest since 2009.

The slight increase comes partly because of larger nut size and despite difficult conditions, USDA-NASS said. “Record level rainfall and unprecedented stormy conditions hindered bee pollination activity in orchards across the state. Cooler than normal temperatures continued through early summer and delayed the maturity of the crop,” the report said.

“Almond farmers have faced a series of challenges in recent years, and this wet, cool winter and spring created different obstacles after three years of drought. Yet the forecast for a larger crop shows the resiliency of California almond orchards,” said Richard Waycott, president and CEO of the Almond Board of California (ABC). “Almond farmers have worked hard while dealing with higher production and financing costs and a bloom with highly compromised bee flight hours. They are very thankful, however, for the abundant rain and snow which vastly improved the water situation, at least for now, and for shipping logistics that continue to improve. The perseverance of California’s almond farmers is admirable as is their commitment to meet future growth in global demand with high quality California almonds.”

The forecast for the average nut set per tree is 3,953, 3 percent down from 2022. The Nonpareil average nut set of 4,004 is 1 percent more than last year. The average kernel weight for all varieties sampled was 1.67 grams, up 14% percent from the 2022 average weight. The Nonpareil average kernel weight was 1.69 grams, up 9 percent over from last year.

The 2023 Objective Report is based on actual almond counts using a statistically rigorous methodology. The survey was conducted from May 26 to July 3 and 1,824 trees were sampled in 912 orchards, 32 more orchards than in 2022. USDA-NASS conducts the annual Subjective Forecast, Objective Report and Acreage Report to provide the California almond industry with the data needed to make informed business decisions.

2023-07-12T13:13:51-07:00July 12th, 2023|
Go to Top