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|

Almond Board Announces Strong 2022 Almond Leadership Program

The 13th class of outstanding professionals begins a year-long immersion to help them become the next great California almond industry leaders.

By Almond Board of California

The Almond Board of California is proud to announce the Almond Leadership Program class of 2022, a group of 17 exceptional professionals expected to help lead the industry into the future.

This next generation of leaders comes from diverse backgrounds across the full range of the industry, from almond growers and processors to sales representatives, consultants, operations managers, pest control advisors and more. They were chosen from a highly qualified pool of nearly 50 applicants.

The Almond Leadership Program began in 2009 and has graduated more than 200 people, with dozens now serving on ABC workgroups, committees and even the Board of Directors. This 13th class will become immersed in every aspect of the industry, guided by volunteer mentors – many of them graduates of the program – who will help the new class further develop the skills, knowledge and perspective to improve their industry and their communities.

“This program helps mold great people into even greater leaders who continue to guide our industry forward,” said Jenny Nicolau, ABC’s senior manager of Industry Relations and Communications. “The industry is now seeing the enormous benefits from more than a decade of this program, and the 2022 class looks brighter than ever. I am certain that these talented, passionate people will continue to be great assets and advocates for our industry for years to come.”

Leadership class members – while still working at their jobs – will complete specialized trainings on all aspects of the industry, much of it tied to ABC activities in global marketing, production and nutrition research, food safety and more. They’ll also sharpen their communication skills and build lasting relationships with each other, ABC staff and other industry leaders.

“Nothing compares to hands-on experience and I look forward to tangibly learning more about aspects of the almond industry outside of my current reach and knowledge,” said Bethany Couchman, a manager at Eagle’s Rest Ranches in Merced County and a 2022 participant. “I’m grateful that the Almond Board is providing us the opportunity to gain specialized insight and training so we can give back to our communities as better equipped leaders.”

The leadership program will also offer a thorough look at the ways social, economic and environmental issues, and the regulatory climate, impact the industry. In addition, participants will take on a yearlong, self-directed project – possibly diving into a topic that interests them, or introducing an innovative technology or practice to their operation, or exploring a new idea to advance the industry. All will focus on improving the California almond community, and some past projects have led to important breakthroughs for the industry.

Leadership class members kicked off their training with a two-day orientation last week at the ABC offices in Modesto. It included a state of the industry discussion with ABC President and CEO Richard Waycott and one-on-one talks with their mentors.

“The program offers clear insight into the almond industry as a whole and gives first-hand examples of what it means to lead an industry and to give back,” said Chris Gallo, who has been both a participant and mentor. He is now the U.S. Western Region Sales and Marketing Vice President for Yara North America and is mentoring again in 2022. “It’s clear that this program continues to evolve to build leaders who will take the almond industry into the future. It’s truly a family that grows with every class.”

Once again, class members will raise money for California Future Farmers of America (FFA), pledging to raise more than $25,000 in scholarships for high school students interested in pursuing agriculture in college. Through the years, the leadership program has raised more than $200,000 for FFA.

The 2022 Almond Leadership class members are Jaspaul Bains, Bains Ag LLC; John Bodden III, Bayer Crop Science; Kate Capurso, Blue Diamond Growers; Bethany Couchman, Eagle’s Rest Ranches; Michael Coe, Blue Diamond Growers; Brady Colburn, Agri Technovation, Inc.; Ian Darling, Monte Vista Farming Co.; Jarred Greene, Nickel Family Farms dba San Juan Ranching Co.;  Thomas Fantozzi, Synagro Technologies; Matt Morelli, Scientific Methods Inc.; Joe Palomino, Axiom Ag; Ken Peelman, Monte Vista Farming Co.; Carson Pettit, RPAC, LLC; Rodney Ratzlaff, Loveland Products Inc./Nutrien Ag Solutions; Arjun Samran, Bapu Farming Co.; Kaisa Spycher, Spycher Farms, Inc.; Blake Wilbur, Koppert Biological Systems.

Bayer Crop Science is the sponsor of the 2022 class.

2022-02-04T13:55:22-08:00February 4th, 2022|

Help for Young Almond Trees Regarding Band Canker

Protecting Young Almond Trees from Botryosphaeria

By Patrick Cavanaugh, With the Ag Information Network

Protecting young almond trees from the sleeping giant, known as Botryosphaeria Fungus. Themis Michailides is a UC Davis Plant Pathologist who has focused on Botryosphaeria for decades.

Band Canker Symptoms on Young Almond Tree

“For years, we didn’t have any control of the Botryosphaeria band canker of almond trees. But now we have new information that very young trees have latent infections, which is the actual Botryosphaeria, the sleeping giant fungus,” noted Michailides.  “And these latent infections are from when growers planted the trees in the orchard it created stress, and then disease eventually develop.”

Michailides and his colleagues got the idea of treating the trees with Topsin fungicide before there are any symptoms. So they can prevent the disease from even developing. “We did the first spray in early March. And, in orchards with no symptoms, 18 months later, we saw a big difference between the untreated and the treated,” noted Michailides.

“And then we went back 16 months later and observed the untreated  trees still had  very high levels of band canker, but the treated tree still maintained much lower levels of infection,” explained Michailides.

Michailides said that the sprays were in 2019 and then again in the spring of 2021. “After 33 months, we found the untreated control trees with very severe disease and ready to be removed by the grower, while the treated trees did not have any severely infected trees so the grower did not have to remove any of those,” he said.

2022-01-28T08:40:26-08:00January 28th, 2022|

Important COVID Prevention at Almond Industry Conference

Almond Industry Conf. Offers Before-You-Go-Tips

Big Event will he at the SAFE Credit Union Convention Center

It’s almost here! The Almond Conference is just around the corner and we are looking forward to gathering in-person with our friends and colleagues in the almond industry. When the Board of Directors made the decision to move forward with an in-person conference at our meeting in June, we knew it would be a challenge given State of California restrictions on large indoor gatherings. We knew there was a risk in moving forward with planning when we could get the rug pulled out from under us at any time, but we felt the benefits of meeting in person outweighed the risks and voted unanimously to move forward.

Now here we less than one week out and we are full speed ahead! More than 3,000 industry members have pre-registered to join us in downtown Sacramento on Dec. 7-9. A record number of exhibitors will be arriving this weekend to set up for the largest trade show The Almond Conference has ever assembled. And staff have put together a tremendous lineup of educational sessions, keynote speakers and world-class entertainment!

In order to meet in person we must meet the State requirements for “mega events” (more than 1,000 people indoors). This includes requiring attendees to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test taken within 72 hours of arriving in Sacramento. This is a State of California requirement, not an Almond Conference policy (these are the same restrictions that are in place to attend a Kings game at the Golden One Center). We understand this is an inconvenience and have tried to make it as easy as possible to provide this information so we can hold the event in person. See below for more information.

Also, at this time, the County of Sacramento requires masks be worn indoors in public spaces, including the Convention Center. Sacramento County’s Public Health Department will end their indoor mask requirement if the count reaches 5 or fewer cases per 100,000. We’re watching the numbers closely and currently Sacramento is on a downward trend at around 10 cases per 100,000. We are hoping the downward trend continues as we know many of you would prefer not to wear masks in the facility. We will update you if the County lifts the requirement. If not, you will need a mask to enter the Convention Center.

We appreciate everyone’s understanding and assistance as we navigate the various State and Local requirements to hold The Almond Conference in person. We hope you’ll agree that the opportunity to meet in person is worth it! Thank you for your patience and we’re looking forward to seeing you next week in Sacramento.

2021-12-01T16:48:11-08:00December 1st, 2021|
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