Mar 19, 2024
Blue Diamond Growers shares crop progress, almond market update

Blue Diamond Growers released a crop progress report on March 15 and its Almond Market Update on March 18. Both indicate positives for the industry.


On March 18, Laura Gerhard, vice president for Blue Diamond Growers, provided the company’s Almond Market Update, which detailed shipments for the month of February showed a 6% decrease (221 million pounds) that was a decrease from last year’s record. 

Year-over-year shipments August 2023 through February 2024. Image courtesy of Almond Board of California.

Gerhard shared that exports came in at 162 million pounds (down 14% from last year) and domestic shipments were up slightly (2.3%) over last year. In her email, Gerhard noted that “despite the monthly fluctuations, total shipments after the first 7 months of the year remain 5.6% ahead of last year’s pace.”  

Here is a summary of the shipments the company provided in the March 18 Almond Market Update. 


  • Shipments: 27 million pounds (a decline of 21% from last year).
  • Year-to-date shipments: Up 18% compared to last season.
  • Buying: Quiet.

China/Hong Kong/Vietnam 

  • Shipments: 9.8 million pounds, (decline of 57% to last year). 
  • Year-to-date shipments: Up 1% over last season.
  • Buying: Quiet.


  • Shipments: 61 million pounds (an increase of 11%) over last year.
  • Year-to-date shipment: 8% increase over last season.
  • Middle East Shipments: 27 million pounds (down 15% from last year).
  • Year-to-date shipments: More than 3% increase from last season.


  • Shipments: 58.8 million pounds (up 2.3% from last year). 
  • Year-to-date shipments: -0.18% indicates a relatively flat figure.
  • Domestic sales for the month: 62.9 million pounds.

 “Overall domestic commitments remain behind by 19.4% from the prior year but improved from 24.9% in January. The short-term booking strategies for many buyers indicate there is ample volume for new bookings this crop year,” the company shared in its March 18 report.

The full Almond Market Update and Gerhard’s Market Perspective is available online. 


The March 15, 2024 Crop Progress Report from Blue Diamond Growers noted that the 2024 California almond bloom has entered its final stages.

Trent Voss, Blue Diamond Growers’ regional manager, member relations, shared in an email that growers across the state are assessing the progress and potential of this year’s crop.

The email Voss sent stated that in the San Joaquin Valley, all almond varieties have surpassed peak bloom, with green leaves rapidly emerging. He also said that late blooming Butte and Padre blocks are nearing completion and are expected to finish by the weekend in the Sacramento Valley.

Nonpareil Nutlets in Stanislaus County_Blue Diamond Growers photo
Nonpareil Nutlets in Stanislaus County. Photo courtesy of Blue Diamond Growers.

“Nuts are sizing at a rapid rate and already showing size differences in varieties like Nonpareil and Sonora. California type varieties are starting to break jackets as the green nutlets gain size. As the nuts start to size, the inevitable drop of unpollinated blossoms and nutlets has started, leaving growers to speculate on the size of their crop. In the coming weeks as the nuts start to develop and increase in size, growers will begin to have a better idea of what the trees hold,” Voss stated in the email.

Additionally, Voss shared one grower’s optimistic thoughts. “The crop is looking good and hopefully it sticks. My concern is that we didn’t get a long period of decent weather conditions until the later part of bloom,” Mike Mora, a grower in Stanislaus County, expressed in Voss’ email.

“Growers spent the last week of bloom completing many orchard tasks. Growers had no need for disease treatments, so the focus was on weed control. Mowing and weed control applications were noted throughout the state. Navel Orangeworm traps have or are being placed as growers start to switch from disease protection to pest protection. Fertilizer applications have increased with the emergence of leaves and will continue into the growing season,” Voss said in the update.

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