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 Alliance Applauds the Lifting of India’s Retaliatory Tariffs on U.S. Almonds

Courtesy of the Almond Alliance

By Hector Barajas

Organization Credits Sen. Padilla, Speaker McCarthy, Rep. Costa for Promoting Need for a Resolution to Major Trade Barrier

The Almond Alliance welcomed today’s announcement from the United States and India that retaliatory tariffs on almonds will be lifted.

“We are greatly pleased to have this issue resolved so that US almonds can once again compete fairly in one of the largest international markets,” said Aubrey Bettencourt, President & Chief Executive Officer of the Almond Alliance.

She noted that the outcome was the result of ongoing negotiations between the two countries during the past several months.

“While a lot of people were involved in making this happen, I’d especially like to recognize the role of several members of the California Congressional delegation,” Bettencourt said. “Senator Alex Padilla, Speaker Kevin McCarthy and U.S. Representative Jim Costa made major contributions to this effort. Without their leadership, these onerous trade barriers might very well still be in place.”

2023-06-23T09:10:55-07:00June 23rd, 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|

ABC Listens to Growers, Simplifies CASP Process

A valuable industry assessment program has been streamlined to make it easier for almond growers to enter and update data. Changes to the CASP program – which now stands for the California Almond Stewardship Platform – were announced in December at The Almond Conference 2022 and came after feedback from some growers about the length of time it often took to fill out the online self-assessment.

The CASP program was developed by the Almond Board of California over a decade ago as a method for almond growers to share and compare data about their orchards and farming practices. That aggregated information in the self-assessment, in turn, is often used by handlers and others who market California’s multibillion-dollar annual almond crop to educate and reassure consumers that growers are implementing critical practices in areas such as water usage, air quality, soil health, pollinators and carbon recapture.

The original CASP online self-assessment process included 620 questions, which now have been cut in half after the update.

“It was really time to restructure it a little bit and put it on a diet,” said Tom Devol, Senior Manager of Field Outreach and Education at the Almond Board of California. “It had gotten a bit heavy. It was taking growers a lot of time to do and was a big commitment.”

Growers often spent five or six hours responding to the questions and sometimes had to enter the same information more than once. That is no longer the case, Devol said.

“I just worked with a grower who completed it in an hour and a half, from start to finish,” he said. “Now, we’ve grouped questions, so when you set up an orchard, you never look at those questions again. You put the information in for that orchard – how it was planted, when it was planted, those kinds of questions – and when you reassess in two or three years … you never have to look at that again. Those questions are pre-done.

“And we did the same thing with the farming operations. So the common practices that you use across the whole farming operation, you really only need to address those questions one time and then in future assessments, they’re already completed for you.”

Devol said rationale behind CASP has evolved since it was created.

“When CASP was first envisioned, it was predominantly an education tool,” he explained. “But over time, there’s been a lot more pressure from the market. ‘How are you growing your crops? Are you exhibiting good stewardship? Are you using current practices?’

“The handlers are the ones facing those questions. The growers aren’t selling the crop directly to the buyer; it’s the handler who’s doing it on their behalf. … By completing your grower self-assessment, you’re assisting your handler in marketing your product.”

Devol recommends that growers update their information at least every three years.

“It’s really a continuous improvement program if you think about it. We’re really trying to see where we’ve learned new practices that we’re starting to adopt into the orchard,” he said. “Not many people change their practices every year, but over time, you’re going to pick up a new thing – we’re going to try this, we’re going to change the way we do that.

“Handlers like to see that data done every year because they’re using the aggregate data to help demonstrate to their buyers what their group of growers are doing. So they have a different motivator.”

Devol reassured growers that no individual orchard information ever is shared.

“It’s aggregate data. It’s secure. Nobody can see your data,” he said. “These handlers just get an aggregate group of data about what their growers are doing.”

Growers who have participated in the past and want to update their data, as well as others who want to enroll in the CASP program, should go to On the website, growers can set up an account or ask to have their password sent to them, if they’ve forgotten it.

Devol said he and the Field Outreach and Education team are available to answer any questions or provide help. They can be reached at

“We really want you to succeed,” Devol said. “We want it to be simple to use. We don’t want it to be painful for you.”

2023-06-13T09:47:37-07:00June 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|

Wet Orchard Floors Could Cause Phytophthora Problems

By Patrick Cavanaugh, with the Ag Information Network

With all the rainfall in many parts of the state, standing water in orchards could be a problem to those trees as it could cause anaerobic situations. Katherine Jarvis-Shean is a UCANR farm advisor based in Yolo County with additional coverage in Solano and Sacramento counties. She noted problems if that water stays standing deep in orchards.

The danger zone comes after, say four days or so, in terms of having anaerobic responses. Certainly, if you’re sitting in moisture and saturated soil for more than 24 hours, you’re in the danger zone with phytophthora infections. Which is a serious fungal disease,” she said.

“And we’re even looking at some water lines above the root zone crown. So then you get water just on a pure almond scion that can, it’s very vulnerable to phytophthora, especially aerial phytophthora,” noted Jarvis-Shean.  “It’s a good year to stay on top of your phytophthora management in terms of phosphite, and other potential phytophthora treatments for those wet orchards,” she said.

2023-04-12T11:35:13-07:00April 12th, 2023|

Help Guide ABC Nutrition Research

The Nutrition Research Committee (NRC) at the Almond Board of California is looking to fill an empty member seat to help guide the strategic direction of ABC’s nutrition research program, review research proposals and monitor progress of active projects.

“It is critical to have a full committee comprised of individuals with a variety of backgrounds and perspectives to ensure that we are focusing on the most impactful research efforts that will add to the scientific evidence base on the health benefits of almonds and benefit the almond industry,” said Elena Hemler, ABC’s associate director of nutrition research.

The committee is comprised of seven members and three alternates, consisting of food and nutrition scientists, almond growers and other almond industry representatives. The research that the NRC helps guide will continue to bolster the existing body of almond science that serves as the backbone of global marketing strategies.

Past research projects have focused on the relationship between consumption of almonds and heart health, diabetes, weight management, gut health and other health outcomes. However, Hemler said that focus is shifting into new areas such as exercise performance and mental health and it’s an exciting time to help council the change. “We are currently re-vamping our nutrition strategy for the next few years. Committee members will play a critical role in shaping this strategy and the research areas we plan to focus on. This strategy will help us to prioritize nutrition research efforts based on their marketing potential and nutrition relevance, to ensure that we are maximizing our investments by only focusing on the highest-impact projects that will benefit the almond industry.”

Nutrition research has long been a cornerstone of ABC’s work, contributing not only to our knowledge about almonds and their impact on human health but also to ABC’s ability to communicate almond’s health benefits globally. Since 1995, the Nutrition Research Committee has been helping ABC fund and manage a broad portfolio of research projects.

Members of the Nutrition Research Committee will be expected to attend approximately four 6-hour meetings per year, with a maximum of 2 hours of prep work per meeting. The meetings are held in-person in Modesto, CA and virtually. Members of the NRC also typically attend the Almond Conference in Sacramento (December 5-7, 2023).

Interested parties can read more about the committee member position and submit a Statement of Interest online.

2023-03-30T08:41:24-07:00March 30th, 2023|
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