Apr 2, 2024
Report: favorable almond conditions amidst unsettled weather

Blue Diamond Growers released its almond Crop Report on April 1.

The report noted generally favorable conditions, despite some unsettled weather in the Central Valley during late March.

Mild temperatures hovered around normal to slightly above seasonal levels and variable skies characterized the latter half of March. Rainfall returned to the Valley towards the end of the month, particularly in the northern San Joaquin Valley, where significant amounts were recorded.

Developing Nonpareil in Eastern Stanislaus County. Photo courtesy of Blue Diamond Growers.
Developing Nonpareil in Eastern Stanislaus County. Photo courtesy of Blue Diamond Growers.

Mel Machado, vice president of member relations at Blue Diamond Growers, commented on the crop development.

“Despite the unsettled weather, growers are reporting good crop development in all areas,” Machado stated in the report. He also highlighted the warm temperatures, which eliminated the risk of frost, allowed nuts to break free of protective jackets and grow in size.

Machado further explained the natural segregation process occurred in the orchards, where smaller nutlets are shed from the trees, ensuring that only the largest nuts destined for harvest remain.

As beekeepers concluded their activities in the orchards post-bloom, growers are now focused on supporting the developing crop. Many are evaluating the potential of their 2024 crop based on the proportion of larger-sized nuts within the canopy.

Blue Diamond almond market update Market-update-graphic

However, concerns over irrigation allocations and fungal infections loom.

Growers expressed frustration with the current water allocations, given ample snowpack and reservoir levels. Moreover, the combination of rainfall and warmer temperatures has increased the risk of fungal infections, prompting growers to apply treatments to protect crops.

Observations included in the crop update also noted the presence of pests such as oblique-banded leaf rollers and brown almond mites, requiring close monitoring to prevent crop damage.

Despite challenges, orchard removal operations and planting of replacement orchards continue unabated throughout the Central Valley.

The full Blue Diamond Growers April 1, 2024 Crop Update is available online.

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