Almond Export Diversification Helps During Tariff War

Overseas Markets are Vast for Almond Industry

By Patrick Cavanaugh, Editor

Diversification is a strength, Richard Waycott, president of the Almond Board of California, told California Ag Today recently. The Almond Board of California is a nonprofit organization that administers a grower enacted federal marketing order under the supervision of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. When it comes to any losses due to a tariff war in China, the almonds can be redirected to other countries.

“It’s fortunate to be as diversified as we are. Always a strength of this industry is the diversification of our overseas markets,” Waycott said. “I think whatever volume we ultimately do lose—if we do lose volume to China—can be redirected and absorbed by other markets.”

The USDA has opened up a direct payment program to the almond industry if growers were to lose any money in a tariff war.

As those programs were announced, by far the largest piece of the pie, $6 billion, initially was directed to the soybean and corn growers and livestock, while the specialty crops were completely left out of it.

“We got together with the Almond Alliance of California and some of our industry members made a very concerted effort while there was still time to do so before the rules around these programs and those that got to participate were set in stone and were able to convince the powers that be … to open up to the direct payment program to almonds, and the sweet cherry industry did the same,” Waycott explained

Waycott also commented on the epic frost that hit almonds this past spring. And he is not sure of the impact on the crop.

“We realized that we don’t understand the impact of frost on almonds all that well because we saw one side of the street there was quite a bit of damage, while on the other side there was no damage. So I think there’s mother nature at work here that, you know, we don’t necessarily completely understand,” Waycott said.

2018-10-23T14:57:40-07:00October 23rd, 2018|

American Pecan Council Begins with Nominations


UPDATE:  September 1, 2016. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is seeking nominations of 15 growers and shellers (handlers) to serve on the American Pecan Council.  Members of the council will be appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture to administer the federal marketing order with oversight by AMS.

Nomination forms are available on online at or by contacting AMS at (863) 324-3375.

Completed nomination forms must be received by AMS no later than Sept. 6, 2016.

Forms may be submitted by mail to USDA, AMS, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, 1124 First Street South, Winter Haven, Fla. 33880 or email

The Final Rule for the Federal Marketing Order for Pecans was published in the Federal Register on Thursday, August 4, 2016. Posted by the , the historic event culminated a three year grassroots effort of pecan stakeholders who collaborated with USDA to write and support the order that is now federal law. This action initiates the process of nominating, selecting, and seating of the administrative body of the FMO, the American Pecan Council. A likely schedule over the next few weeks is as follows:

Week of August 8

  • OMB approves Nomination Forms
  • Call for Nomination Press Release; nomination forms mailed to Shellers and Growers, electronic versions available to download

Week of August 22

  • Deadline for Nominations to be returned to USDA

Week of August 29

  • USDA to mail ballots to growers and shellers to vote on Nominees

Week of September 19

  • Deadline for Ballots to be returned to USDA
  • Deadline for background statements (Nominator should seek to gather this document from the Nominees as soon as someone agrees to be nominated.) Only those with completed background statements can be sent forward on the selection order to the Secretary.

Month of October

  • Selection Press Release for the new Council
  • Conference call with USDA Staff and new Council Members (1/2 day) for FMO Orientation
  • Council meets in person


FAQ about the Nomination Process:

  1. HPecan Cluster Royalty Farmsow will Nomination Forms be made available? Upon approval by OMB, official forms will be posted on the USDA website, mailed to growers and shellers on current USDA lists, and posted on the American Pecan Board website.
  2. Who can nominate? Any grower within a region can nominate another grower within the same region. Any sheller within a region can nominate another sheller within the same region.
  3. Who is a grower? A person who has produced an average of 50,000 lbs. of inshell pecans over the last four years or who has 30 pecan acres. All production or acreage must be within the 15 state production area (domestically produced).
  4. Who is a sheller? A person (entity) who has shelled at least one million lbs. of domestically produced inshell pecans in the prior fiscal year.
  5. What determines a large grower and small grower? A large grower is defined as having pecan acres equal to or more than 176 acres, and a small grower has less than 176 acres.
  6. What determines a large sheller and a small sheller? A large sheller is defined as having handled 12.5 million lbs. or more of domestically produced inshell pecans in the prior fiscal year, and a small sheller is defined as having handled less than 12.5 million lbs. of domestically produced inshell pecans in the prior fiscal year.
  7. Can a large grower nominate a small grower and can a small grower nominate a large grower for the appropriate seat? Yes
  8. Can a large grower second the nomination of a small grower, and can a small grower second the nomination of a large grower? Yes
  9. Can a large sheller nominate a small sheller and can a small sheller nominate a large sheller for the appropriate seat? Yes
  10. Can a large sheller second the nomination of a small sheller, and can a small sheTree Shaker Royalty Farmsller second the nomination of a large sheller? Yes
  11. If a grower grows pecans in more than one region, in which region can he/she be nominated? In the region in which he/she grows the largest volume of their production.
  12. If a sheller handles pecans in more than one region, in which region can he/she be nominated? In the region in which he/she handled the largest volume of domestically produced inshell pecans within the preceding fiscal year.
  13. Can a vertically integrated pecan operation (grows and shells) be nominated as a grower and a sheller? No, a decision must be made by the person (entity) being nominated whether to be nominated as a grower or a sheller.
  14. Who nominates the candidates for the accumulator and public member seats? Once the 15 member Council is seated, they nominate candidates for the accumulator and public member seats.

(Source: )

2016-09-01T17:31:06-07:00August 12th, 2016|

California Almond Board Blog Goes Live!

Richard Waycott, President and CEO of the Almond Board of California, launched its new Almond Board blog,, TODAY, with the inaugural post (dated 7/22/14), “The Almond Board of California is a What? Understanding Federal Marketing Orders.”

Back in 1950, almond growers asked the United States Department of Agriculture to approve a Federal Marketing Order, so they could all work together to improve the quality and marketing of their crop.  The Almond Board of California was born. A lot has changed since our establishment 64 years ago, including a name change (we used to be called the Almond Control Board) and the broadening of our programs from what initially was just quality standards compliance. Today, we call ourselves an agricultural promotion group.

In their current form, agricultural promotion groups are made up of farmers – in our case growers and handlers – who work together to educate consumers and to research, innovate and promote what they produce.

While you may have never heard of us before, these groups are part of an American tradition and are ingrained in our culture. Whether it’s the dancing California raisins, “Got Milk?,” “Incredible Edible Egg,” “Pork: The Other White Meat” or “Beef: It’s What’s for Dinner,” agricultural promotion groups have created and funded these campaigns. (By the way, have you seen our own “Crunch On” ad campaign that was launched in 2013?)

Different ag promotion groups work in different ways, but essentially they are founded and funded by industry members. They are not funded by taxpayers, which is an occasional misconception. Each year almond handlers contribute money to fund Almond Board marketing and research programs. We develop our own programs and direct our own research, with the USDA providing oversight and review of all external messaging, to make sure they are accurate and comply with FDA and FTC regulations.

At the Almond Board of California, we have worked hard not only to help our favorite nut overcome certain negative perceptions due to their oil content, but more importantly to become the number one nut that surveyed North American consumers associate with being nutritious and heart healthy.*† By creating demand for almonds, we work to build global markets for California Almond growers and handlers.

In terms of research, we have funded $42 million in almond quality and food safety, nutrition, environmental, and production research since 1973.  From developing a new nutritional supplement for our pollinators – the honeybee – to improving water efficiency by 33 percent per pound of almonds produced over the last two decades, the Almond Board constantly strives to be a stellar guardian of the natural resources that almond growers and handlers employ to produce one of the finest foods in the world.

Click here to learn more about the Almond Board of California.


*ABC North American Attitudes, Awareness and Usage Study, 2013

†Good news about almonds and heart health.  Scientific evidence suggests, but does not prove, that eating 1.5 ounces of almonds as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease.  One serving of almonds (28g) has 13g of unsaturated fat and 1g of saturated fat.

2016-05-31T19:34:14-07:00July 23rd, 2014|

California Ag Today: California Walnut Growers Support its Board


Ninety-five percent of eligible California walnut growers who voted and ninety-three percent of the volume represented in the referendum favored continuing the Federal Marketing Order and the efforts of the California Walnut Board.  This is the first continuation referendum vote ever held by the industry.

“It’s rewarding to know that the work of the California Walnut Board is recognized by the growers and handlers we strive to serve,” said Dr. Jerome Siebert, Chairman of the California Walnut Board.  “When we come together as an industry, we are powerful at addressing challenges and generating far-reaching results for all California walnut producers.”

Voting in the referendum took place from April 1 through April 19, 2014 and those eligible to vote were growers engaged in the production of walnuts within the state during the period September 1, 2012 through August 31, 2013.  In order for the referendum to pass, at least two-thirds of eligible producers must vote in favor of continuance.  Since the order was amended in 2008, a vote is now required every six years.

“We’re grateful for the continued support of our growers, who see the value of working together to benefit the entire industry,” said Dennis A. Balint, Executive Director of the California Walnut Board. “There is more work ahead, but we’re starting from a good place and will continue to build on several decades of experience, relationships, research and success.”

The California walnut industry is made up of more than 4,000 growers and 100 handlers. The growers and handlers are represented by two entities, the California Walnut Board and the California Walnut Commission.


California Ag Today

2016-05-31T19:35:31-07:00May 21st, 2014|
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