California Almond Acreage Drops in 2022 – First Time in Decades

By Rick Kushman, Almond Board of California

Bearing acreage grew but there were fewer new plantings and increased orchard removals

California’s almond acreage decreased for the first time in more than 25 years, according to a new report from Land IQ to the Almond Board of California (ABC).

Total standing acreage as of Aug. 31 was estimated at 1.64 million acres, compared with 1.66 million acres at the same time in 2021. Bearing acres – orchards producing almonds and planted in 2019 or earlier – increased slightly to 1.34 million from 1.31 million last year. But non-bearing acres – new plantings going back to 2020 but not yet bearing almonds – dropped to 294,000 acres from 353,000 acres in 2021.

In addition, the Land IQ 2022 Standing Acreage and Removed Acreage Final Estimate said approximately 30,000 acres are either classified as stressed or abandoned. They were included in the standing acreage total because the orchards “may have the ability to recover,” Land IQ said.

Removed orchards contributed to the drop in total acreage and continued a trend from 2021. Total orchard acreage removed was about 60,400 acres as of Aug. 31 this year compared with 56,900 removed acres in 2021.

“Land IQ’s report may indicate a possible trend towards lower California almond acreage in the year ahead,” said Richard Waycott, ABC president and CEO. “This acreage estimate was based on data collected through Aug. 31, so it does not reflect any additional removals that may have occurred as the harvest and post-harvest seasons progressed this fall. Those data will be incorporated in the next acreage estimate to be published in April 2023.”

The estimate comes from multiple lines of evidence, including extensive examinations on the ground and advanced remote sensing analytics. Land IQ said the 2022 standing acreage estimate is 98.8 percent accurate.

Land IQ’s Final Acreage Estimate in November, along with USDA-NASS’s April Acreage Report, May’s Subjective Estimate and the Objective Report in July are all 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.

2022-12-05T08:37:35-08:00December 5th, 2022|

Third ID Tool for Industry, Available at Almond Conference

By The Almond Board of California

In the past few years, the Almond Board of California has introduced two identification manuals that have proven to be popular with thousands of almond growers, PCAs and others involved in orchard management. Soon, there will be a third.

At the 2022 Almond Conference in December, the final booklet in the identification series will be released, known as the Almond Disease and Nutrient Deficiency Identification Cards. As the name suggests, it will focus on common diseases and nutrient deficiencies that afflict almond trees and also provide management insights, provided by UC almond industry experts.

Prior to this new resource, the Almond Production Resources: Pests, Water and More Booklet was released in the 2020-21 crop year, followed by the Weed Identification Manual the next season. Both booklets are free and include easy-to-understand photos and captions to help growers and PCAs identify specific issues they may confront in the orchard.

Like the previous two booklets, the third manual was developed by the Almond Board in conjunction with experts associated with the University of California’s Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources team.

“This third ID set rounds out the family of tangible, easy to use resources that help key decision makers in their daily management of producing almonds” explained Jenny Nicolau, senior manager for industry relations and communications for the Almond Board.

Nicolau said the new booklet contains “calculated and well-informed production practices that can help a grower’s bottom line.” She added that reaction to the first two set of booklets has been “amazing,” and she expects a similar response this time.

“We continue to hear from pest control advisers and growers about how helpful the booklets have been to them,” she said. “And what we’re now hearing is kind of this pass along or domino effect where we know we gave a weed ID or a pest ID booklet to a grower or PCA and they don’t have it anymore. And the reason they don’t have it is that they passed it on to their farm manager or somebody on the labor team. … It’s really helping people identify what they’re seeing.”

Like the previous two booklets, the disease and nutrition guide will be laminated for durability.

“The idea was to create something that was very strong and heavy in pictures with brief descriptions that a grower or PCA could keep in their truck … that they could reference throughout the year when they need to identify different things in the orchard and remind them of some of those management tools available to them,” said Nicolau.

The Almond Disease and Nutrient Deficiency Identification Cards will be available for free at the ABC booth at next month’s Almond Conference, set for Dec. 6-8 at the SAFE Credit Union Conference Center in Sacramento. Attendees can register online now. As in years past, there will be hundreds of vendors representing all facets of the industry on the convention center floor as well as informative panel discussions on a variety of key topics.

Growers or PCAs who want a copy of the pest or weed booklets, or any other ABC resource, can request one by emailing the Almond Board’s Field Outreach Team at fieldoutreach@almondboard.com.

2022-11-11T09:08:51-08:00November 11th, 2022|

2022 Almond Conference

The Almond Board of California

The Almond Conference has been held every year since 1973, making this the 50th consecutive year. The event now attracts more than 250 exhibitors and covers the latest advancements in growing, producing and supplying high-quality, great-tasting, and healthy almonds!

This year’s agenda will be packed with content focused on helping growers improve ROI, including water supply, pollination, irrigation, fertigation, rootstocks, pest management and more!

Make plans to join your fellow almond industry members at The Almond Conference on December 6-8 at the SAFE Credit Union Convention Center in downtown Sacramento.

Register here.

 

2022-10-19T09:21:54-07:00October 19th, 2022|

New Directors of Almond Board of California Begin Their Terms

By Almond Board of California

The new Board of Directors of the Almond Board of California took their seats on Thursday with four voting members beginning new terms to help guide ABC’s support of one of California’s most important crops.

Board members, whose terms officially began Aug. 1, also elected Alexi Rodriguez as chair and re-elected George Goshgarian Jr. as vice chair.

“Our industry is facing many challenges right now,” said Rodriguez. “I’m looking forward to working with this talented and dedicated board and organization. I believe we have the resources and experience to navigate these complicated times.”

The 10-member ABC board has five grower members – three representing independent growers and two representing cooperative growers – and five handler members, also with three independent and two co-op representatives. Some members sit in three-year seats, others in one-year positions.

The grower representatives elected or re-elected in this year’s elections are:

  • Paul Ewing, an independent from RPAC, LLC in Los Banos. He was re-elected to a one-year term.
  • Brandon Rebiero, an independent grower from Gold Leaf Farming in Modesto who previously served as an alternate and was elected to a three-year term.

The handler representatives were re-elected in both positions this year. They are:

  • Darren Rigg, an independent handler from Minturn Nut Co. in Le Grand. He was re-elected to a one-year term.
  • Mel Machado, a co-op handler with Blue Diamond Growers from Modesto re-elected to a three-year term.

In addition, the board has three alternates elected or re-elected this year:

  • Katie Staack-Dorsett, an independent grower with Grizzly Nut, LLC from Waterford This is her first term as an alternate.
  • Chad DeRose, an independent handler with Famoso Nut Co., LLC in McFarland, who was re-elected.
  • Mark Jansen, a co-op handler with Blue Diamond Growers from Sacramento who was also re-elected. .

This is the full board:

VOTING MEMBERS                                                                                      TERM

Grower #1:            Paul Ewing, RPAC, LLC                                                    1 year

Grower #2:            Brandon Rebiero, Gold Leaf Farming                           3 years

Grower #3:            Joe Gardiner, Treehouse California Almonds, LLC       3 years

Handler #1:           Alexi Rodriguez, Campos Brothers                               3 years

Handler #2:           Bob Silveira, Vann Family Orchards                              3 years

Handler #3:           Darren Rigg, Minturn Nut Co. Inc.                                 1 year

Co-op Grower #1: George Goshgarian Jr., Goshgarian Farming Co.        3 years

Co-op Grower #2: Christine Gemperle, Gemperle Orchards                   3 years

Co-op Handler #1: Mel Machado, Blue Diamond Growers                       3 years

Co-op Handler #2: Alicia Rockwell, Blue Diamond Growers                    3 years

ALTERNATES

Grower #1:             Katie Staack-Dorsett, Grizzly Nut, LLC

Grower #2:             Vacant

Grower #3:             Chris Bettencourt, Suvik Farms

Handler #1:            Ron Fisher, Fisher Nut Company

Handler #2:            Dexter Long, Hilltop Ranch, Inc.

Handler #3:            Chad DeRose, Famoso Nut Company, LLC

Co-op Grower #1:  Kelli Evans, Evans Farming

Co-op Grower #2:  Kent Stenderup, Stenderup Ag Partners

Co-op Handler #1: Mark Jansen, Blue Diamond Growers

Co-op Handler #2: Dean LaVallee, Blue Diamond Growers

The ABC board sets policy and approves budgets in major areas, including production research, public relations and advertising, nutrition research, statistical reporting, quality control and food safety.

ABC is a Federal Marketing Order dedicated to promoting California almonds to domestic and international audiences through marketing efforts and by funding and promoting studies about almonds’ health benefits, as well as ensuring sustainable agricultural practices and food safety.

2022-08-11T11:21:09-07:00August 11th, 2022|

NASS Forecasts Smaller Almond Crop for 2022

Objective Forecast predicts harvest 2022 will be down 11 percent from last year.

By The Almond Board of California

The 2022 California Almond Objective Measurement Report published Friday, July 8, by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) estimates that the crop harvested in 2022 will come in at 2.6 billion meat pounds, 11 percent below last year’s 2.9 billion pounds.

The estimate is down 7 percent from NASS’s subjective forecast in May and comes in a complicated year. Some growers were impacted by frost in spring while the entire almond industry, and all California farmers, have been navigating a difficult water year and continued logistical issues impacting the ability to ship almonds to meet consumer demand around the world.

“Growers have been working hard in the face of challenging circumstances and it demonstrates their dedication to improving stewardship practices and meeting the demands of consumers,” said Brian Wahlbrink, chair of the Almond Board of California (ABC) Board of Directors.

The forecast for the average nut set per tree is 4,082, 12 percent down from 2021. The Nonpareil average nut set of 3,966 is also 12 percent lower than last year. The average kernel weight for all varieties sampled was 1.47 grams, up less than 1 percent from the 2021 average weight. The Nonpareil average kernel weight was 1.55 grams, up slightly from last year.

“Despite the shipping and logistical logjams, recent shipment numbers have set monthly records, which demonstrates the demand for California almonds continues to increase in the U.S. and around the world,” said Almond Board President and CEO Richard Waycott. “Almond growers are putting what resources they can afford this year into producing their crop, and their efforts show. Although there was a drop from last year, the forecast reflects the efforts of growers to meet global demand and ensure a steady supply of high quality California almonds.”

ABC’s April and May 2022 Position Reports showed that almond exports set records for both months, even while facing shipping and logistical obstacles, and total almond shipments in May also set a record.

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. Of the crop estimates, the 2022 California Almond Objective Report is considered the more accurate and is based on actual almond counts using a statistically rigorous methodology.

2022-07-11T11:16:45-07:00July 11th, 2022|

California Pollinator Coalition Reports Increasing Cooperation Among Ag, Conservation Groups

Members note successful projects in celebration of National Pollinator Week

By Almond Board of California

A year after coming together to help make the agricultural landscape more friendly to pollinators, members of the California Pollinator Coalition say they’re gaining momentum, building stronger relationships between agriculture and conservation groups that are already increasing habitat on the ground.

The coalition – created in April 2021 and including more than 20 agriculture, conservation and government organizations – says it’s building a stronger network among these groups that has already led to new projects to expand on the success of the efforts of its individual member organizations.

“Thanks to the individual and collective efforts of our coalition members, we’ve seen a lot of positive developments over the past year,” said Laurie Davies Adams of Pollinator Partnership, one of the coalition’s founding members. “The State has also provided $30 million in new funding for pollinator projects, and we’ve seen more and more projects like cover crops and hedgerows installed among the state’s orchards, vineyards, rangelands and croplands.”

As the Coalition celebrates National Pollinator Week, June 20-26, it is assessing the progress its members have helped spur, which includes:

  • More than 65,000 acres of pollinator forage added throughout the state on over 400 farms in the past 18 months.
  • Approximately 340 acres of new and enhanced habitat installed in California for monarch butterflies, with another 40,000 milkweed plants planned this year.
  • $30 million over two years earmarked by Gov. Gavin Newsom and the Legislature for sharing costs and providing incentives for farmers, ranchers and vineyard managers to create pollinator habitat on working lands.
  • Working with researchers to advance guidance of habitat placement on farms and working lands.
  • New partnerships built that launched current projects, including creating more California-specific guidance for growers and finding new funding.

“Pollinators are small, but they’re mighty,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “If you want to know how much California agriculture relies on pollinators, look no further than the broad coalition of agricultural organizations that we’ve already built, and the diverse acreage they represent. These partnerships are bearing fruit, with hundreds of farmers and thousands of acres adding forage and habitat to support both managed and native pollinators.”

One example of those partnerships is the diverse group of Coalition members – including Pollinator Partnership, the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance, the Wine Institute, the Almond Board of California, Blue Diamond, California Dairy, Inc., the California Cattleman’s Assoc., California Farm Bureau Federation, and Project Apis m. – that worked together to apply for a partnership agreement through the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service for regional farmer-to-farmer collaboration in 10 California counties on habitat installation and adoption of integrated pest management.

“We are determined to be part of the solution,” said Almond Board of California Chief Scientific Officer Josette Lewis. “Pollinators are crucial for our food production and for our entire ecosystem. All of us in agriculture understand that the most productive path we can take is to work together toward a common solution of protecting pollinators and the working lands of California.”

Lewis briefed Congress in 2021 about the Coalition’s brand of collaborative conservation. She detailed the ways it can be used as a model for protecting pollinators and for a range of other of effective environmental alliances among independent groups, including those who have not always been aligned.

“We need all hands on deck for monarchs and pollinators,” said Monarch Joint Venture Executive Director Wendy Caldwell. “That, of course, includes the agricultural community. I grew up on a farm and know firsthand the hard work, dedication and care farmers put into their land. At MJV, we recognize agricultural stakeholders as instrumental partners in reaching monarch habitat goals.”

Another achievement of the Coalition has been to send the strong reminder that everyone in California agriculture is a stakeholder in protecting pollinators.

“As part of the efforts of California winegrape growers and vintners to increase the sustainability of their vineyards and wineries, they have planted cover crops and hedgerows on thousands of acres,” said Allison Jordan, Executive Director of the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance. “Those acres provide habitat to vital pollinators while building soil health. Even though winegrapes are self-pollinating, all of us in California wine recognize the importance of pollinators to the state’s agriculture and food systems. That is why we’re partnering with likeminded organizations in the Coalition to increase resources to benefit even more pollinators.”

Entering Pollinator Week, the Coalition continues working to get the word out to more and more farmers about pollinator protection, funding, benefits and programs, including:

The Coalition continues to recruit partners who understand the urgency and share the common goal of supporting the health of both pollinators and agriculture. Current California Pollinator Coalition membership includes:

  • Agricultural Council of California
  • Almond Alliance of California
  • Almond Board of California
  • California Alfalfa and Forage Association
  • California Association of Pest Control Advisers
  • California Association of Resource Conservation Districts
  • California Cattlemen’s Association
  • California Citrus Mutual
  • California Department of Food and Agriculture
  • California Farm Bureau Federation
  • California State Beekeepers Association
  • California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance
  • Environmental Defense Fund
  • Monarch Joint Venture
  • Monarch Watch
  • Pollinator Partnership
  • Project Apis m.
  • University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources
  • USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • Western Growers
  • Dr. Neal Williams, University of California, Davis

About the California Pollinator Coalition
The California Pollinator Coalition, convened by Pollinator Partnership, the California Department of Food and Agriculture and the Almond Board of California, is made up of a diverse group of agricultural and conservation organizations with the shared goal of providing enhanced habitat for pollinators. The Coalition and its members work to increase habitat for pollinators on working lands. Additionally, the group promotes research and tracks its progress toward healthy and abundant habitats.

2022-06-21T08:23:10-07:00June 21st, 2022|

Almond Board of California Announces 2022 Election Results

By Rick Kushman, Media Relations Manager, Almond Board of California

The Almond Board of California recently announced the Board of Directors election results, and the names of the following nominees have been submitted to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture for selection to terms of office beginning Aug. 1, 2022:

Grower Position One, Member (1-year term):
Paul Ewing, Los Banos

Grower Position One, Alternate:
Katie Staack-Dorsett, Waterford

Grower Position Two, Member (3-year term):
Brandon Rebiero, Modesto

Grower Position Two, Alternate:
To be determined

Handler Position Three, Member (1-year term):
Darren Rigg, Le Grand

Handler Position Three, Alternate:
Chad DeRose, McFarland

Cooperative Handler Position One, Member (3-year term):
Mel Machado, Modesto

Cooperative Handler Position One, Alternate:
Mark Jansen, Sacramento

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, public relations and advertising, nutrition research, statistical reporting, quality control and food safety.

About California Almonds:
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, ABC is a non-profit organization that administers a grower-enacted Federal Marketing Order under the supervision of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. For more information on the Almond Board of California or almonds, visit Almonds.com or check out California Almonds on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and the California Almonds blog.

2022-06-02T13:03:30-07:00June 2nd, 2022|

Almond Acreage Increases in 2022 but Pace of Growth Slows

Bearing almond orchards at harvest will cover 1.338 million acres across California, an increase of 29,000 acres

 

By Almond Board of California

California’s almond acreage continues to grow, but at a gradually slowing rate, according to two new reports released today. While the number of almond orchards removed also increased over the previous year, it was not enough to offset the overall acreage gains.

According to an estimate from Land IQ, bearing almond orchards at harvest will cover 1.338 million acres across California, an increase of 29,000 acres – or about 2.2% – over last year. This estimate looks at orchards that will be productive and harvested in 2022. In addition, the report estimates 59,732 acres of orchards will be removed before harvest, nearly 12,000 acres more than last year.

These estimates from Land IQ’s 2022 Standing Acreage Initial Estimate look at bearing acreage – orchards that have matured enough to produce a crop – for the current 2021-22 crop year. In addition, the U.S. Department of Agriculture-National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA-NASS) 2021 California Almond Acreage Report released April 28, gives a comprehensive look at last year.

The USDA-NASS report for the 2020-21 crop year estimated there were 1.32 million bearing acres in 2021, up 5.6 percent from 2020. Total almond acreage in 2021, which includes non-bearing trees, was estimated at 1.64 million, up 2.5 percent from the previous year. It also said the 320,000 non-bearing acres in 2021 is a total down 8.6% from 2020.

The USDA-NASS report gave a preliminary estimate for bearing acreage in 2022 at 1.37 million acres, but cautioned that a major source of data for this estimate is a survey mailed to growers and is unlikely to be 100 percent accurate.

USDA-NASS said nonpareil continued to be the leading variety, followed by Monterey, Butte, Carmel, and Independence.

These reports are being issued side by side by the Almond Board of California (ABC) to provide a complete picture of California’s almond acreage.

Neither of these reports offer any estimate on the actual almond yield this 2021-22 crop year. The first look at yield will come on May 12 with USDA-NASS’ Subjective Estimate. A fuller picture of crop size will come with USDA-NASS’ Objective Report in July.

Bearing acres reflect plantings from 2019 or earlier. The removal estimates cover orchards taken out beginning in 2021 through March 31, 2022, added to acreage projected to be removed through Aug. 31, the end of the crop year. The projection uses historical data and present conditions.

“These estimates show that California almond production will remain strong,” said ABC President and CEO Richard Waycott. “Demand for almonds in California, the U.S. and around the globe continues to grow and California almond growers are prepared to meet that demand.”

Land IQ’s Initial Estimate and its Final Acreage Estimate in November, along with USDA-NASS’s April Acreage Report, May’s Subjective Estimate and the Objective Report in July are all 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 nearly a decade of research and has an accuracy of 98% or greater.

Data for USDA-NASS’s acreage reports comes from a number of sources including voluntary responses from almond growers’ to mailed questionnaires with telephone and field follow-ups. USDA-NASS also uses Land IQ data to fine tune its reports.

2022-05-05T10:07:34-07:00May 5th, 2022|

Almond Board of California 2022 Elections Underway

Voting Began April 21

Voting began recently to select two independent grower positions and one independent handler position on the Almond Board of California (ABC) Board of Directors. Alternate seats for those spots are also open. Voting ends May 26.

Candidates for the independent grower positions:

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

Paul Ewing, Los Banos (incumbent)                                           Brian Wahlbrink, Sonora (petitioner)

Katie Staack-Dorsett, Waterford (petitioner)

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

Brandon Rebiero, Modesto (petitioner)                                      Michael O’Banion, Firebaugh (petitioner)

Lee Erickson, Madera (petitioner)

Candidates for the independent handler positions:

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

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

Jonathan Hoff, Denair (petitioner)

Spencer Birch, Wasco (petitioner

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 26. Any independent grower or handler who does not receive a ballot can contact Toni Arellano at tarellano@almondboard.com.

“Every vote is important,” said ABC President and CEO Richard Waycott. “More than 7,600 growers and 100 handlers count on the Board of Directors to guide the work of the Almond Board and to help the industry navigate these complicated times.”

The ABC board, made up of five handler and five grower representatives, sets policy and recommends budgets in major areas, including marketing, production research, public relations and advertising, 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.

2022-04-27T13:30:52-07:00April 27th, 2022|

Almond Board of California Announces 2022 Elections

By Almond Board of California

Elections for the Almond Board of California (ABC) Board of Directors have kicked off for the 2022-2023 crop year with the call to all candidates to file their petitions or declarations of candidacy by April 1, 2022.

There are two independent grower positions and one independent handler position on the ABC Board of Directors to be decided in voting that starts April 21 and ends May 26. Alternate seats for those spots are also open.

To be considered for an independent grower or alternate seat, candidates must be a grower and must submit a petition signed by at least 15 independent almond growers (as verified by ABC). Independent handler and alternate candidates must declare their intention in writing to ABC.

All petitions and declarations must state the position for which the candidate is running and be filed by mail with ABC at 1150 9th St., Suite 1500, Modesto, CA 95354. The deadline for all filings is April 1. Potential candidates who’d like more information can contact Toni Arellano at tarellano@almondboard.com.

“The ABC Board of Directors is such an important and vital part of our industry,” said ABC president and CEO Richard Waycott. “It guides the work of the Almond Board and is key to overseeing the welfare of the industry and of more than 7,600 growers and 100 handlers.”

The ABC board sets policy and recommends budgets in major areas, including marketing, production research, public relations and advertising, nutrition research, statistical reporting, quality control and food safety.

Getting involved provides an opportunity to help shape the future of the almond industry and to help guide ABC in its mission to promote California almonds to domestic and international audiences through marketing efforts, funding and promoting studies about almonds’ health benefits, and ensuring best-of-class agricultural practices and food safety.

ABC encourages eligible women, minorities and people with disabilities to consider running for a position on the Board of Directors to reflect the diversity of the industry it serves.

2022-02-18T08:33:15-08:00February 18th, 2022|
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