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|

Almond Board Committees

More than 150 active almond industry members volunteer on board-appointed committees, subcommittees and working groups to further the work of Almond Board of California (ABC). Getting involved in the California Almond industry is a great way to ensure almonds remain an essential crop in California and are demanded by consumers around the world. The Board is always on the lookout for new volunteers and accepts applications throughout the year; the committees are seated in August. Committee descriptions and Statement of Interest Forms are hyperlinked below.The Board seeks to ensure that its programs and policies are inclusive and would like to enhance the diversity of its volunteers. We encouraged eligible women, minorities and people with disabilities to consider applying to participate. Growers, handlers, huller/shellers and any allied industry members along the supply chain or affiliated with the almond industry are encouraged to get involved.
The following board-appointed committees further the work of the Almond Board
The committee and workgroup descriptions below provide an overview on the opportunities to serve and shape future research and programs.
Almond Quality, and Food Safety and Services Committee

The Almond Quality, Food Safety and Services Committee considers and recommends to the Board rules and regulations pertaining to the federal marketing order. This committee also provides oversight for other marketing order services and educational activities which are necessary to maintain the high quality standards and safety of the California almond industry. This committee consists of seven members. In addition, this committee oversees an Industry Services Subcommittee and a Biomass Task Force.

Statement of Interest Form

Organic Advisory Panel

The mission of the Organic Advisory Panel is to address issues impacting organic almond production, trade and consumer awareness. This panel will direct staff on areas of focus including research, marketing, national and local organic initiatives, and other areas.

Statement of Interest form

Finance and Audit Committee

The Finance and Audit Committee is responsible for reviewing all financial reports and making any appropriate budgetary recommendations, including the assessment rate for the upcoming crop year, to the Board. This committee is also responsible for reviewing quarterly and annual financial statements as well as ABC’s annual external audit, and presenting this information to the Board. The committee is comprised of five members, selected from the Board, five alternates and the Treasurer, who is the chair.

Statement of Interest Form

Global Communications Committee

The Global Communications Committee guides and informs strategy for industry and external communications about California almonds, the almond industry and the Almond Board of California. The committee will provide stakeholders and consumers with information about the almond industry and its practices, anticipate and provide counsel on various issues and potential crises, and disseminate industry-funded research findings to a variety of audiences. This group also engages members of the almond community by creating programs and events that motivate industry members to become more efficient in and out of the orchard.

Statement of Interest form

Global Market Development Committee

The Global Market Development Committee evaluates growth opportunities available to the almond industry and makes recommendations to the Board. These recommendations include a worldwide market research and market development program for each crop year. The committee also administers government-funded marketing and research programs and may also recommend to the Board changes in the marketing order rules and regulations, granting credit to handlers for qualified promotional activities. These credits are granted based on the proportion of assessment credit determined to be granted for each type of promotional activity.

Statement of Interest form

Nutrition Research Committee

Committee Mission: Guide ABC’s nutrition research investments to advance the science on the impact of almond consumption on human health and enhance ABC’s ability to communicate almond’s health benefits globally. The Nutrition Research Committee focuses on ongoing nutrition research which adds to the existing body of almond science and is utilized by the Board in global marketing outreach programs to promote the consumption of almonds. Current strategic research areas focus on the relationship between consumption of almonds and heart health, diabetes/prediabetes, weight management, gut health, cognition, skin health, exercise recovery and other areas. This committee is comprised of seven members and three alternates, consisting of food scientists, nutritionists, almond growers and other almond industry representatives.

Statement of Interest form

Strategic Ag Innovation Committee

The Strategic Ag Innovation Committee is the “strategic forward thinker” for the almond industry and is supported by specialty-area research working groups. This committee shall consider and recommend projects that maintain the almond industry’s leadership role as a “Crop of Choice” for California, and which reflect the overall production and environmental research needs of the almond industry. This committee consists of ten members and oversees the six specialty-area research working groups listed below. All of the working groups review research proposals and make funding recommendations to the Strategic Ag Innovation Committee.

Statement of Interest form

Production Stewardship Workgroup

Our Production Stewardship Workgroup identifies innovative production research and technology to support Almond Board’s vision and mission to make life better by what we grow, how we grow, and accelerate adoption of industry best practices. Areas of research and extension that this group advise include orchard configuration, tree growth, breeding, pest management, irrigation, nutrient management, soils, harvest, precision ag. technology, environmental sustainability, and others.

Statement of Interest form

Pollination and Bee Health Working Group

The Pollination and Bee Health Working Group prioritizes issues for ABC attention and response related to honey bee health. The goal of this group is to provide a safe, nutritional environment for pollinators in almond orchards, ensuring a sufficient and affordable supply of honey bees for almond pollination and reducing reliance on honey bees in the long term.

Statement of Interest form

Biomass Workgroup

The Biomass Workgroup aims to maximize value-added utilization for all orchard products, other than the edible nut, which are financially viable and environmentally friendly. Among other responsibilities, this group will review research proposals and RFP’s; make funding recommendations for research projects and analytical testing for almond woody and fleshy biomass.

​Statement of Interest form

Technical & Regulatory Affairs Committee

The Technical & Regulatory Affairs Committee provides support to and cooperates with almond industry stakeholders and other Almond Board committees, focusing on those issues that impact the production and worldwide marketing of California Almonds. This synergy will enable greater integration and contribute to the overall success of the industry.

Statement of Interest form

2023-06-13T10:05:31-07:00June 13th, 2023|

USDA Forecasts Smaller Almond Crop

By Rick Kushman, Almond Board of California

The 2023 California Almond Subjective Forecast published Friday 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 2.50 billion pounds, 3 percent below last year’s 2.57 billion pounds.

Forecasted yield is 1,810 pounds per acre, down 90 pounds from 2022 and the lowest since 2005.

“A lower crop estimate was not unexpected considering all that growers dealt with last year and during this year’s bloom,” said Richard Waycott, president and CEO of the Almond Board of California (ABC). “The cold, wet weather kept bees in their hives and reduced the hours they could pollinate orchards. In the past three years, growers have faced high costs, shipping issues, drought and more. But the water picture is better, at least for this year, shipping continues at record levels and global demand continues to grow. California’s almond farmers are prepared to meet that global demand.”

The report said: “Record rainfall and unprecedented stormy conditions impacted pollination. Limited bee flight hours were reported in all growing regions. There were reports of downed trees due to high winds and oversaturated soil. Yields are expected to be the lowest in years, with variation observed across varieties and orchard locations. Colder than normal temperatures continued through March and April, resulting in a delayed crop.”

The Subjective Forecast is the first of two production reports from USDA-NASS for the coming crop year. It is an estimate based on opinions from a survey conducted from April 19 to May 6 of 500 randomly selected California almond growers. The sample of growers, which changes every year, is spread across regions and different sized operations, and they had the option to report their data by mail, online or phone.

On July 7, USDA-NASS will release its second production estimate, the 2023 California Almond Objective Report, which is based on actual almond counts in nearly 1,000 orchards using a more statistically rigorous methodology to determine yield.

This Subjective Forecast comes two weeks after USDA-NASS released the 2022 California Almond Acreage Report which found total almond acreage had dropped in 2022 to 1.63 million, 1.2 percent down from 1.65 million in 2021. It also estimated 1.38 million bearing acres in 2023, up from 2022’s estimate of 1.35 million bearing acres.

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. These reports are the official industry crop estimates.

2023-05-12T11:46:14-07:00May 12th, 2023|

Storm Damage Resources and New Assistance for Distressed Borrowers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reminded growers of current and new federal assistance this week for producers impacted by floods and facing financial risk.

California continues to be inundated with surface water, both runoff from snow melt and extended precipitation. USDA reminded California growers that both technical and financial help is available through federal disaster assistance. Producers with flooding damage are heavily encouraged to document the damage with pictures, receipts and farm records. Any of those items will help expedite assistance, said Farm Service Agency’s California Executive Director Blong Xiong in a press release.

The Almond Alliance is helping almond growers with the process. The Almond Alliance has created a Storm Damage Reporting & Resource page to help producers take advantage of programs that were triggered under the Presidential Disaster Declaration. The Almond Alliance reminds growers to document and notify damage to the proper agencies. “A simple phone call can make the difference between resources available and being left out. Timely notice of loss reported to your local FSA office is critical to ensuring adequate resources and assistance is deployed to your area, as well as your ability to participate in potential future programs,” said Aubrey Bettencourt, Almond Alliance president and CEO.

Also this week, USDA announced additional assistance for producers with qualifying farm loans who are facing financial risk. The extra $123 million funding will begin in April and is made possible through the Inflation Reduction Act. Loans that qualify for the assistance are “borrowers of direct or guaranteed loans administered by USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) whose operations face financial risk.”

USDA offered an example of qualifying loans in a press release, stating “in the October payments, farmers that were 60 days delinquent due to challenges like natural disasters, the pandemic or other unexpected situations were brought current and had their next installment paid to give them breathing room.”

Again, this assistance is automatic and will begin in April. Contact your local FSA office for more information. You can locate your local USDA Service Center by going to

2023-04-17T10:32:16-07:00April 17th, 2023|

Almond Board of California Announces 2023 Elections

By: Rick Kushman, Almond Board of California

Elections for the Almond Board of California (ABC) Board of Directors have launched for the 2023-2024 crop year with the call to all candidates to file their petitions or declarations of candidacy by April 1, 2023.

The industry will choose for one independent grower position and two independent handler positions on the ABC Board of Directors in voting that starts April 21 and ends May 25. Alternate seats for those spots are also open, plus a second grower alternate seat, currently empty, is also up for election.

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 details, documents, open positions, the election timeline and deadlines, and frequently asked questions can be found at All petitions and declarations must state the position for which the candidate is running and be sent to or printed and mailed to ABC, 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 ABC at

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

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.

2023-02-15T15:51:15-08:00February 15th, 2023|

Almond Board Announces Exceptional 2023 Almond Leadership Class

By Rick Kushman, Almond Board

The outstanding 14th class of professionals begins a year-long immersion to become the next great leaders of the California almond industry

The Almond Board of California (ABC) is proud to announce the Almond Leadership Program class of 2023, a group of 18 exceptional professionals expected to help lead the industry into the future.

This next generation of leaders was chosen from nearly 50 highly qualified applicants. They come from diverse backgrounds across the full range of the industry, and include growers and processors, sales and real estate representatives, consultants, pest control advisors and more.

The Almond Leadership Program (ALP) began in 2009 and has graduated more than 200 industry members. Dozens now serve on ABC workgroups, committees and even the Board of Directors.

“The industry is seeing the enormous benefits from more than a decade of the leadership program, and while we seem to say this every year, this 2023 class is simply outstanding,” said Rebecca Bailey, the ABC specialist who oversees ALP. “This program helps great people become great leaders. It’s clear that these talented, passionate people will continue to be great assets and advocates for our industry for years.”

Members of this 14th class – while still working at their jobs – will be immersed in every aspect of the industry, including ABC activities in global marketing, production, nutrition research, food safety and more. They’ll sharpen their communication skills and build lasting relationships with industry leaders, ABC staff and each other.

“I’m honored to be joining a group of industry leaders who will be taking both the almond industry and the agriculture community into the future,” said 2023 participant Diane Power, a sixth generation California farmer and sales associate in Modesto with Pearson Realty. “I look forward to all the experiences and opportunities we will have to learn about the almond industry, and to the many relationships we will form through this year.”

Class members will be guided by volunteer mentors – many of them ALP graduates – who will help them develop the skills, knowledge and perspective to improve their industry and their communities.

“We all play unique roles in the almond industry,” said 2023 class member Megan Chicoine, the general manager of U.S. operational support for Manulife Investment Management in Redding. “As young emerging leaders, we have the ability to make significant impacts by actively participating in our industry.”

The leadership program will also offer class members thorough looks at the impacts on the industry of social, economic and environmental issues and the regulatory climate. In addition, participants will take on a yearlong, self-directed project focused on improving the California almond industry. Some past projects have led to important breakthroughs for the industry.

Leadership class members kicked off their training with a two-day orientation a week ago at the ABC offices in Modesto, which included one-on-one talks with their mentors.

“The one thing everyone has in common is they love agriculture,” said mentor Chandler Wilson, a technical sales rep for NutriAg USA. “We all want to be better. The mentors believe in the program and many have been through it. We’re eager to give back to the industry and these new leaders. We’ll share our experiences in and out of ALP, and together, we’ll all learn and grow as individuals and professionals through the whole process.”

Once again, class members will raise money for California FFA, pledging to raise more than $25,000 in scholarships for high school students interested in pursuing agriculture in college. Through the years, ALP has raised more than $225,000 for FFA.

The 2023 Almond Leadership class members are Alana Ambrosino, Ripon Manufacturing Company, Inc.; James Broaddus, BASF Agricultural Solutions; Destiny Camden, BeeHero Inc; Chris Chavez, ofi; Megan Chicoine, Manulife Investment Management; Lincoln Denlinger, Salida Ag; Lauren Dutra, Ceres Imaging; Brian Ganyo, Bayer Crop Science; Robert Gray, Burchell Nursery; Darryl Hadlich, WiseConn Engineering; Thomas Martin, TRÉCÉ Inc.; Erick Mendonca, Miller Chemical; Chris Miller, Blue Diamond Growers; Vance Millwee, Treehouse California Almonds, LLC; Mitchell Moreda, RPAC LLC; Diane Power, Pearson Realty; Matthew Reamer, South Valley Farms; and Tylor Wilbourn, BeeHero Inc.

Bayer Crop Science has sponsored ALP for a number of years and is the sponsor of the 2023 class.

2023-02-08T09:10:03-08:00February 8th, 2023|

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|
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