Tag Archives: almonds

Blue Diamond Plans Huge California Expansion

Western Fruit Grower. 4 October 2011.  In a sign of the times for the booming almond industry in general and Blue Diamond Growers in particular, the cooperative’s Board of Directors has approved a plan to purchase 88 acres located in Turlock, CA. The capacity expansion plan includes ongoing operations at its plants in Sacramento and Salida (adjacent to Modesto), with upgrades planned at both facilities.

 The phased project is designed to minimize initial construction costs and to build Blue Diamond’s growing consumer brand and ingredient business at a significant compounded return to the grower-owners of the cooperative over the next 15 years and beyond. This investment is focused on new automated technologies that will increase yields and reduce handling to provide additional cost savings at all locations.

“The unprecedented growth in our Blue Diamond consumer brand and ingredient business requires us to expand our capacity beyond our Sacramento and Salida operations,” says Blue Diamond President and CEO, Mark Jansen. “The California almond crop has doubled over the last decade. Global demand continues to climb: 2010 crop shipments exceeded previous shipments by 14% for a five-year annual growth rate of 13%. This plan will provide the capacity we need to grow as global markets expand and U.S. consumers demand more nutritional almond products.”

As part of a 15-year capacity expansion strategy, the Turlock location is required to meet the company’s increasing global market opportunities and crop supply. Insufficient land was available in Sacramento and Salida to add the required manufacturing capacity to either existing location. The three-phased project is expected to provide training and other new opportunities for current employees in Sacramento, Salida and, eventually, at the new facility at North Washington and Fulkerth Road in Turlock.  read more

Calif. Almond Consumption Going Nuts!

CFBF.  13 July 2011.  With almond production expected to break records again this year, marketers say they expect to be able to sell all that California farmers produce.  The latest estimate found that farmers will have 19 percent larger yields, compared with last year, and could produce nearly 2 billion pounds of almonds. Marketers say demand for almonds remains strong, with international markets playing a key role. European sales are increasing, and there has been growing demand from China and India.


Growing Produce.  7 July 2011.  California’s 2011 almond production is forecast at a record 1.95 billion meat pounds, up 11% from May’s subjective forecast and 19% above last year’s crop. The forecast is based on 750,000 bearing acres, which is also a record, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistical Service.

Production for the signature Nonpareil variety — which fetches growers the highest prices — is forecast at 750 million meat pounds, an eye-popping 35% above last year’s deliveries. The Nonpareil variety represents 38% of California’s total almond production. California is responsible for virtually all U.S. almond production.

After a good winter with excellent chilling hours, the 2011 almond crop bloom began in an unusually chilly spring that had growers initially concerned because the bees that are responsible for pollination don’t fly as much when cold. But the cold spring also lengthened the bloom, causing more overlap between varieties. The bees then eventually came through, and the flowering trees set an excellent crop.

Freezing temperatures did affect the northern regions more heavily than the south, but frost damage was insignificant. Older plantings suffered some damage from the strong winds that accompanied the spring storms, but overall damage was minimal. Spotty damage from hail was also noted. Low disease and insect pressure have been reported and, with all the precipitation California has seen this winter, lack of water for irrigation is not the problem it was a few years ago. This year’s snowpack was impressive, causing many ski resorts in the Sierra Nevada to stay open through the recent Fourth of July holiday weekend.

The average nut set per tree is 7,353, up 23% from 2010. The Nonpareil average nut set of 7,482 is up 34% from last year’s set. The average kernel weight for all varieties sampled was 1.49 grams, 13% below last year. The Nonpareil average kernel weight was 1.60, down 15% from last year. As with most fruit crops, generally the more almonds per tree, the lower the average almonds size. A total of 98.7% of all nuts sized were sound.

Though the crop forecast, which is officially known as the “Objective Measurement Survey,” is conducted by the USDA-NASS, it is paid for by the Almond Board of California.

Calif. Almond Crop Up 17%

American/Western Fruit Grower.  8 July 2010.  The California Almond objective forecast for the 2010-11 crop year was announced Thursday at the office of the Almond Board of California (ABC) in Modesto. The forecast, funded by the Almond Board, is administered by the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service – California Field Office (NASS/CFO). According to the USDA-NASS, California Field Office, the California Almond objective forecast for the 2010-2011 crop year is 1.65 billion meat pounds, which is based on 740,000 bearing acres.

Doug Flohr, statistician for USDA-NASS, CFO, said the forecast is up 8% from the May 6 subjective forecast of 1.53 billion pounds. As of May 31, the estimate is up 17% from this year’s crop of 1.406 billion pounds.  readmore

Calif. Farm Facts: part 1

California Department of Food and Agriculture. (04/2010). 

California’s top 20 crop and livestock commodities accounted for more than $29.6 billion in value for 2008 (the latest year available).  Eleven commodities exceeded $1.00 billion in value for 2008.  Despite higher production costs for many growers, twelve of the 20 commodities registered an increase in value from the previous year.  The same was not true for California’s leading commodity, Milk and Cream, which decreased by $412 million in value, due to weak demand early in the year and diminished market price.  Final grower returns could change the sales value for hay, berries and other commodities, resulting in an updated dollar amount in next year’s report.

Leading Counties:  California is home to the most productive agricultural counties in the nation. According to the 2007 Census of Agriculture’s ranking of market value of agricultural products sold, nine of the Nation’s top 10 producing counties are in California.

Chardonnay Wine Grapes, Clements, California. Grapes (wine and table) are still California's most valuable crop.

 California’s Top 10 Agricultural Counties
1.  Fresno  5,669,527 ,000          Grapes, Almonds, Poultry, Milk, Tomatoes

2  Tulare   5,017,955,000          Milk, Oranges, Cattle and Calves, Grapes, Alfalfa Hay & Silage

3.  Kern  4,032,830,000          Milk, Grapes, Citrus, Almonds and By-Products, Carrots

4.  Monterey 3,829,123,000          Leaf and Head Lettuce, Strawberries, Nursery, Broccoli, Grapes

5.  Merced  2,972,698,000          Milk, Chickens, Almonds, Cattle and Calves, Potatoes

6.  Stanislaus 2,463,787,000          Milk, Almonds, Chickens, Cattle and Calves, Silage

7.  San Joaquin 2,129,812,000           Milk, Grapes, Walnuts, Cherries, Almond Meats

8.  Kings 1,760,168,000          Milk, Cotton, Cattle and Calves, Alfalfa, Tomatoes

9.   Imperial 1,684,522,000          Cattle, Alfalfa, Wheat, Head and Leaf Lettuce, Broccoli

10.  Ventura 1,611,091,000          Strawberries, Nursery Stock, Lemons, Celery, Raspberries