Nov 6, 2023
Blue Diamond releases Nov. 6 crop progress report

Blue Diamond Growers released its Nov. 6, 2023 crop report, in which Mel Machado, vice president, member relations at Blue Diamond noted “problematic conditions continued” for growers during the 2023 harvest.

Machado noted temperature fluctuations, light frost in some locations during the last week in October and storms all played a role during the harvest time.

Blue Diamond Growers logo“While most areas failed to receive any rainfall, many reported from 0.1 to 1.0 inch. Growers in eastern Stanislaus County received nearly 1.5 inches from a particular virulent cell on October 22,” Machado said in the email. “Progressively shorter daylight hours, heavy morning dew and the sporadic rainfall combined to increase both grower workloads and the risk of additional crop loss as growers struggled to complete the harvest. The diffuse maturity exhibited in the early harvesting varieties has continued into later cultivars, impeding the pace of harvest as growers waited for hulls to split and dry enough for harvest.”

Additionally, the shortened daylight, higher humidity and declining temperatures are all factors that have contributed to a slower harvest, according to Machado.

Blue Diamond also reported that huller/sheller operations are also impacted. “Many are reporting that high moisture pliable hulls are slowing the hulling and shelling process, reducing capacities to 50% to 75% of normal production rates,” the report detailed.

The Blue Diamond crop report detailed that excessive moisture in the stockpiles has been a concerned and that growers have incurred an increase in costs as crop dryers have been utilized during this season’s harvest. The additional costs, low market prices and higher reject levels in Monterey and Fritz varieties almonds are being felt in the industry. Quality concerns are also being reported in Butte and Padre, as these varieties have experienced an increase in reject levels.

The Blue Diamond crop report also detailed information on postharvest irrigation, orchard sanitation, mummy shaking, final evaluations of harvest, scraping of orchard floors, cover crops to attract honeybees for 2024 almond bloom and overall soil and plant health.

“Over the coming winter months, growers will continue their analysis of the past year and the lessons learned to formulate plans for 2024,” Machado said. “Operational costs and market conditions will drive many decisions.”

Click here to view the entire report that was released on Nov. 6, 2023.

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