Jun 3, 2024
Blue Diamond Growers’ crop update indicates strong almond crop in Central Valley

Almond growers in California’s Central Valley experienced favorable weather conditions in May, contributing to a promising crop outlook, according to Blue Diamond Growers’ latest crop progress report released on June 3, 2024.

Mel Machado, vice president of member relations at Blue Diamond Growers, noted the positive impact of the mild temperatures and consistent breezes on the almond trees.

Butte and Padre in Eastern Stanislaus County. Photo courtesy of Blue Diamond Growers
Butte and Padre in Eastern Stanislaus County. Photo courtesy of Blue Diamond Growers.

“The comparatively mild temperatures experienced during the month have minimized stress on the trees and provided good support for the developing crop,” Machado said.

The crop update noted that observers have reported that the 2024 crop is now at its maximum weight, running well ahead of last year’s yield.

Throughout May, the weather across the Central Valley remained mostly dry following a brief spring storm in the first week. This storm brought minimal rainfall, ranging from a few hundredths to an inch, with temperatures dropping into the upper 50s and lower 60s. The remainder of the month saw daily highs in the 80s, with occasional peaks into the low and mid-90s, while morning lows varied from the upper 40s to 60s.

However, the report indicated that persistent breezes presented challenges for orchard activities.

“The winds that blew on most days were less sympathetic,” Machado explained in the crop update. “Brisk winds and low humidity can also increase water consumption, requiring growers to increase irrigation frequency. The winds also complicated efforts to control vegetation within the orchards.”

Despite these challenges, growers successfully carried out essential tasks such as irrigation, fertilization, orchard floor maintenance and pest management. Most notably, the final applications of nitrogen fertilizers were completed by the end of May, aligning with the reduced nutrient demand as the kernels reached full solidification.

Pest management remains a critical focus, with observers reporting the presence of plant bug species like leaf-footed plant bugs and stink bugs, which can cause significant damage to almonds, rendering them inedible.

Additionally, significant catches of Navel Orange Worm (NOW) moths have been noted in traps within the orchards.

“Treatments to control eggs and newly hatched larvae on mummy nuts were completed early in the period in an effort to reduce the potential population during the upcoming hull split,” Machado stated in the report.

The full report is available online.

For more information, visit the Blue Diamond Growers’ website.

Be sure to check out our other specialty agriculture brands

produceprocessingsm Organic Grower

75 Applewood Drive, Suite A
P.O. Box 128
Sparta, MI 49345
Get one year of National Nut Grower in both print and digital editions.

Interested in reading the print edition of National Nut Grower?

Subscribe Today »