Almonds

Congressional Leaders Learn About Almond Pollination

Almond Board Briefs Congressional Caucus About Pollinator Coalition


Chief Scientific Officer Josette Lewis highlights coordinated efforts of state’s farm and conservation communities.

 

Lewis was one of four speakers, and the only representative from agriculture, at the virtual congressional briefing on the status of pollinators convened by Reps. Rodney Davis (R-IL) and Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) during National Pollinator Week. They are co-chairs of the Congressional Pollinator Protection Caucus.

“This hearing, and this week, were extremely valuable because they helped raise awareness about the need to protect all pollinators and their habitats,” Lewis said. “For the California almond industry, every week is pollinator week. This is something we work hard at every day.”

During the briefing, Lewis detailed the steps being taken by the California Pollinator Coalition and why its brand of collaborative conservation is a strong model to both bolster the health of pollinators and to set an example for a range of effective environmental alliances among independent groups.

The pollinator coalition includes more than 20 California organizations and was spearheaded by the Almond Board of California (ABC) along with the Pollinator Partnership and the state Department of Food and Agriculture. It represents the large majority of agricultural acreage in the state and its goal is to expand pollinator health and habitats on working ag lands.

bee protection

Bees pollenating almonds.

“The representatives heard how the coalition represents agriculture putting its best foot forward,” Lewis said. “Given the crucial importance of pollinators to food production and to ecosystems, it’s essential that agriculture be part of the solution. That’s one reason ABC partnered with the Pollinator Partnership to help build this coalition. We know the almond industry and the ag community can continue to help.”

A key subject the congressional leaders wanted Lewis to address was the value of collaborations like the Pollinator Coalition, how they can be built and how they can help in areas ranging from research to shared incentive programs.

One incentive example is ABC’s Bee+ Scholarship program, which pays up to $2,000 of the cost of seeds for pollinator-friendly cover crops and has added 15,000 acres of pollinator habitat in almond orchards in its first year. It will also cover the fees to register as a Bee Friendly Farm.

“The goal is to reduce the risks to growers to try new practices that can benefit pollinators and growers alike. One size does not fit all growers, so this offers a chance to try something new,” Lewis said. “Collaborations are effective because everyone has a stake in healthy ecosystems and healthy food, and together we can help each other take actions and make a difference.”

 

2021-06-30T12:52:43-07:00June 30th, 2021|

UC Offers Almond Production Short Course Nov. 5–7

Almond Short Course For Growers To Learn More

By Pam Kan-Rice UCANR News and Information Outreach

UC Agriculture and Natural Resources will host the UC Almond Short Course Nov. 5-7, 2019, at the Visalia Convention Center.

UC faculty, UC Cooperative Extension specialists and farm advisors and USDA researchers who will provide in-depth, comprehensive presentations of all phases of almond culture and production. An optional field tour will be offered on Nov. 8 in Parlier.

The program is based on the latest information and research and will cover the fundamental principles that form the basis for practical decisions. Each session will include Q&A, quality time with instructors and networking opportunities. The full agenda is at https://ucanr.edu/sites/almondshortcourse/2019_Agenda.

This year’s short course offers an in-depth field tour at the Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center on Friday, Nov. 8. For an additional fee, participants can learn firsthand about topics ranging from orchard establishment and management to integrated pest management. See the tour agenda at https://ucanr.edu/sites/almondshortcourse/2019_Field_Tour.

Registration is $900, discounts are available until Oct. 21. On-site registration will be $1,000.

Registration includes:

  • Three full days of instruction with more than 35 presentations
  • Binders containing presentations
  • Three lunches and two receptions
  • DPR (PCA) & CCA continuing education credits (pending approval)
  • Option to add Field Tour for $65
2021-05-12T11:01:46-07:00October 15th, 2019|

Almond Board Schedules Market Facilitation Program Workshops

2019 Market Facilitation Program Workshops October 7 | October 11 | October 15 | October 16

USDA’s Market Facilitation Program (MFP) is continuing for the second year, providing almond growers with an opportunity to apply for direct payments to help alleviate the damage resulting from the global trade situation.

Unlike the 2018 program when payments were based on delivered pounds, the 2019 MFP program is based on bearing acreage. To learn more about the changes to the 2019 program, and how you can also apply for 2018 payments, the Almond Alliance of California and Almond Board of California are co-hosting workshops with local USDA Farm Service Agency offices.

Come learn about the program and how you can apply!

Chico, October 7, 2019 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Manzanita Place at Chico Elks Lodge #423 1705 Manzanita Avenue Chico, CA 95926 RSVP: MFP-Chico@almondboard.com 209-343-3220 Seating is limited.

Fresno, October 11, 2019 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Fresno County Farm Bureau 1274 W. Hedges Avenue, Fresno, CA 93728 RSVP: MFP-Fresno@almondboard.com 209-343-3220 Seating is limited.

Bakersfield October 15, 2019 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. UC Cooperative Extension Kern County 1031 S. Mt. Vernon Avenue, Bakersfield, CA 93307 RSVP: MFP-Bakersfield@almondboard.com 209-343-3220 Seating is limited.

Modesto, October 16, 2019 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Almond Board Of California  1150 9th Street, Modesto CA 95354 (15th floor of Double Tree Hotel) RSVP MFP-Modesto@almondboard.com  209-343-3220 Seating is limited.

For more information contact Toni Arellano at 209.343.3220; tarellano@almondboard.com

2019-09-30T21:19:46-07:00October 2nd, 2019|

Produce Passes All Residue Testing in 2017

FDA Produce Residue Sampling “Once Again” Verifies Safety

Last week the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released its 2017 pesticide residue sampling data results. FDA concluded: “The latest set of results demonstrate once again that the majority of the foods we test are well below the federal limits set by the Environmental Protection Agency.”

Note the term “once again” in FDA’s statement. They used it because government residue sampling data year after year reaffirms the safety of our food and the exceptionally high level of compliance among farmers with laws and regulations covering the use of organic and conventional pesticides.

Let’s get a little technical for a moment and focus on how FDA residue sampling is protective of consumers. FDA employs a three-fold strategy to enforce the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) tolerances or safety standards for pesticide residues.
If you haven’t heard – September is National Fruit and Vegetable month. Yes, it is time to celebrate the only food group health experts and nutritionists agree we should all eat more of every day for better health and a longer life.
While decades of studies have shown the nutritional benefits of fruits and vegetables are overwhelming and significant, the safety of both organic and conventional produce is also impressive. Government sampling data shows an over 99% compliance rate among farmers with the laws and regulations required for pesticide applications on organic and conventional fruit and vegetable crops. This led the United States Department of Agriculture to state that: “The U.S. food supply is among the safest in the world.”

Many health organizations are promoting National Fruit and Vegetable month to remind consumers about the importance of increasing consumption – only one in 10 of us eat enough of these nutrient-packed foods each day.

However, studies show a growing barrier to consumption is fear-based messaging which inaccurately calls into question the safety of the more affordable and accessible fruits and veggies. This messaging is predominantly carried by the same activist groups year after year despite studies which show that “prescriptions” for fruits and veggies could reduce health care costs by $40 billion annually. Or that 20,000 cancer cases could be prevented each year.

2019-09-23T15:06:22-07:00September 23rd, 2019|

2018 Fresno County Crop Report a Record: $7.8 Billion!

Fresno County up BIG on Production Value for 2018

 

Submitted to Fresno County Board Supervisors by Milissa Cregan Fresno County Ag Commissioner

It is my pleasure to submit the 2018 Fresno County Agricultural Crop and Livestock Report. In each of our annual reports, the Department likes to highlight a segment of our history; and this edition will feature the California Department of Agriculture’s Direct Marketing Program and the certi­fied producers and their crops.

This report is produced in accordance with Sections 2272 and 2279 of the California Food and Agriculture Code; and summarizes the acreage, production, and value of agricultural commodities produced in Fresno County. Fresno County’s total gross production value for 2018 is $7,887,583,790. This represents an increase of $859,559,690 or 12.23% over the previous year’s total of $7,028,024,100.

Once again, almonds continue to be the leading agricultural commodity in Fresno County with a gross value of $1,178,182,069, which represents 14.94% of the total gross value of all crops produced in 2018. The total gross value of grapes remained in the number two spot at $1,106,858,236 followed by pistachios for the ­first time at $862,144,401.

Fresno County’s agricultural strength is based on the diversity of crops produced. Included in the 2018 report are over 300 different commodities, 76 of which have a gross value in excess of $1,000,000. Although individual commodities may experience difficulties from year-to-year, Fresno County continues to supply the highest quality of food and fib­er nation-wide and abroad to more than 95 countries around the world.

Crop values vary from year to year based on production, market fluctuations and weather. It is important to note the figures provided in this report reflect gross values and do not take into account the costs of production, marketing, transportation, or other ancillary costs. These ­figures do not represent net income or loss to the producers of these commodities.

This report is our yearly opportunity to recognize the growers, shippers, ranchers and other businesses instrumental to and supportive of agriculture in Fresno County. We truly appreciate the many producers, processors, and agencies (both private and public) that supported our e‑orts in completing this report. In addition, a hearty thank-you goes out to my entire staff, especially Fred Rinder, Scotti Walker, Angel Gibson, Rosemarie Davis, Sam Sohal, and Shoua VangXiong. Without their hard work and valuable input, this report would not be possible.

 

2019-09-11T18:03:57-07:00September 12th, 2019|

Almond Harvest Underway

A Whole Lot of Almond Shaking is Going On Throughout California

By Patrick Cavanaugh, Editor

It’s a busy time of year for the almond industry as harvest is going strong. It starts in Kern county and moves all the way north or Chico. It will take nearly two months to get across 1.4 million acres, and it’s going to be about a 2.2 billion pound crop, which is down 3.5% from 2018 where the production was about 2.28 billion pounds. It was less than ideal weather conditions in the spring, which caused us dip in production.

However California remains the best place in the world to grow almonds. It’s all about the Mediterranean climate in California— long hot summers with the rain and cold in the winter, ideal for almond trees.

Navel Orangeworm is a critical pest in almonds, pistachios and in a lesser way for walnuts. And they continue to be a significant pest during  almond harvest season as the adult moths can lay eggs, which can pupate later in almonds turning them off-grade. Once shaking is done and the almonds are picked up out of the field, it’s important to get that crop out of the orchard as soon as possible to minimize navel orange worm infestation.

Almonds are the first tree nut to be harvested. Later on, pistachios will start, following that we’ll be walnuts.

 

2019-08-08T10:54:00-07:00August 7th, 2019|

Elaine Trevino Given USDA Appointment

Almond Alliance President Appointed to USDA Agricultural Trade Policy Advisory Committee 

News Release

USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue and United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer have appointed Almond Alliance President Elaine Trevino to the USDA Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee for Trade.

The Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee provides advice and information to the Secretary of Agriculture and the U.S. Trade Representative on the administration of trade policy, including enforcement of existing trade agreements and negotiating objectives for new trade agreements.almond crop

“I am honored to be appointed to this prestigious agricultural trade policy committee,” Trevino said. “Given the almond industry’s dependence on global trade health, this position is an important one to ensure there is a continued strong presence at the table for California almonds.”

Congress established the advisory committee system in 1974 to ensure a private-sector voice in establishing U.S. agricultural trade policy objectives to reflect U.S. commercial and economic interests. USDA and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative jointly manage the committee.

2019-06-19T22:50:19-07:00June 18th, 2019|

Almond Growers Helped In Trade Dispute

Almond Grower and Board Chair Holly King Attends White House Briefing with President

News Release

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced almonds will be included in the administration’s new trade mitigation package. This package aims to continue the support of farmers and ranchers impacted by delayed negotiations and trade disruption with China.

Almond Board Chair Holly A. King attended a briefing at the White House recently with President Donald J. Trump and representatives from other major farm groups to discuss the trade mitigation package.trade

“It is an honor to represent the California almond industry at the White House briefing with President Trump and express appreciation for his efforts to ease the burden of the trade tariffs on California almond growers,” King said. “We have invested heavily in developing the market for California almonds in China for more than 20 years and hope the Administration is successful in negotiating a new trade deal soon so we can get back to business as usual.”

The $16 billion package includes $14.5 billion for the Market Facilitation Program, $1.4 billion in surplus commodity purchases through the Food Purchase and Distribution Program and $100 million in Agricultural Trade Promotion funding. Almonds will be included in the Marketing Facilitation Program. According to the USDA release, “Tree nut producers, fresh sweet cherry producers, cranberry producers and fresh grape producers will receive a payment based on 2019 acres of production.”

The Almond Board has worked closely with the Almond Alliance of California throughout the developing tariff situation to ensure the voice of the California almond industry is heard.

“The Almond Board and Almond Alliance have been actively engaged with USDA, the US Trade Representative and Congress regarding the impact of this trade disruption on almonds. The Alliance has led efforts ensuring almonds are included in the second mitigation package,” said Julie Adams, Vice President of Global, Technical and Regulatory Affairs at the Almond Board. “We look forward to working with USDA in leveraging these funds to best benefit the entire almond industry and our grower communities.”

Overall, trade disputes have underscored the importance of having diverse, healthy export markets, a position of strength that the California almond industry has long enjoyed. For decades, ABC has supported the industry by making significant investments in foreign market development and expansion. Recently, the Almond Board started marketing programs in Italy, Mexico, Germany and re-entered Japan. ABC also ramped up marketing activity in Germany and India. 

“While we appreciate almonds’ inclusion in the second package, almonds continue to be impacted by the increase in tariffs, and we’ve seen a significant decline in shipments to China, our third-largest export market,” said Adams. “Getting back to normal trade is critical.”

2019-06-03T16:53:20-07:00June 3rd, 2019|

NASS Predicts Another Record-Breaking Almond Crop

2019 Crop Predicted to be 2.50 Billion Pounds

News Release

For the second year in a row, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is predicting a record California almond crop for the upcoming production year. According to the NASS 2019 California Almond Subjective Forecast issued recently, California almond orchards are expected to produce 2.50 billion pounds of nuts this year, up 8.69% from last year’s 2.30 billion-pound crop.  (1)

This forecast comes just weeks after NASS released the 2018 California Almond Acreage Report, which estimated total almond acres for 2018 were up 2% from 2017 at 1.39 million acres. Bearing acres—orchards mature enough to produce a crop—were reported at 1.09 million acres, up 6% from the previous year. Looking ahead, NASS reported preliminary bearing acreage for 2019 at 1.17 million acres, up 7.3% from 2018.  (2)

Richard Waycott, Almond Board President, and CEO

The first of two reports for the upcoming crop, the Subjective Forecast is based on opinions obtained from randomly selected almond growers located throughout the state via a phone survey conducted in April and May. NASS asked growers to indicate their total almond yield per acre from last year and expected yield for the current year based on field observations. The sample of growers interviewed is grouped by size of operation, and different individuals are interviewed each year, allowing all growers to be represented. NASS then combines the yield estimates obtained from each grower and extrapolates the information to arrive at the numbers reported in the Subjective Forecast.

While the Subjective Forecast provides early estimates of the upcoming crop after it is set, NASS’s 2019 California Almond Objective Report will provide a more precise estimate as it uses a more statistically rigorous methodology to determine yield. The report’s data is based on actual almond counts and measurements gathered from over 850 orchards throughout the state and includes the weight, size, and grade of the average almond sample broken down by both growing district and variety.

The California Almond Objective Report will be released on July 3 at 11:50 a.m. PDT. NASS conducts the Objective Report—the Subjective Forecast and the Acreage Report—in order to provide the California almond industry with the data needed to make informed business decisions.

1 USDA-NASS. 2019 California Almond Subjective Forecast. May 2019.

2 USDA-NASS. 2018 California Almond Acreage Report. April 2019. 

2019-05-20T15:08:50-07:00May 20th, 2019|

Madera County Ag Economy is Booming

Madera County Has Big Ag Job Base

By Jessica Theisman, Associate Editor

Madera County’s financial future is booming. David Rogers, a Madera County supervisor, is excited to know that Madera County is the fastest and number one growing ag economy in the United States.

“I represent most of the farming, and Madera County, which is the fastest growing our economy in the U.S. and has been for the last three and a half, four years,” Rogers said.

Madera County

David Rogers, Madera County Supervisor

Madera  is a business-friendly county.

“We’ve been number one in small jobs, manufacturing growth for the last nine years in a row, and all of that is ancillary to agriculture,” he said.

Pistachios and almonds have aided in Madera County’s financial growth.

“Some of those orchards that were planted five years ago are going to mean big revenue,” Rogers said.

Expansions to the Triangle T System have aided in the conveyance.

“The expansions were in wide areas, and conveyance is so critical to that,” Rogers explained.

There is also a new tunnel system that goes under the river for delivery.

“There was a lot of money that went into developing their system, and it’s paying off big time. I believe it’s almost 50,000 acres. It was 30,000 originally, I think, and it’s expanding more all the time,” Rogers said.

He also commented on the need for proper forest management that will allow more water into the system.

“One of the most important things that we can do right now is continue to emphasize forest management because that is a source of more water,” he said. The better the management, the faster the forests can return to a healthy state. With a healthier forest, that means more water in the system and more water in our ground.

2019-03-21T15:46:01-07:00March 21st, 2019|
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