USDA IMPLEMENTS RECOMMENDATION FOR A THREE-YEAR ASSESSMENT INCREASE

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December 20, 2016

Almond Board of California

On Dec. 20, the USDA published the Final Rule to implement the recommendation by Almond Board of California (ABC) to increase the assessment from 3 cents per pound to 4 cents per pound for a three-year period beginning with the current 2016–17 almond crop.

The increase is limited to three years because it is expected that almond production will increase significantly during that time, which will provide additional funding, after which the assessment rate will return to the 3-cents-per-pound rate.

“Growers have never faced more pressure regarding farming and agricultural practices,” said Richard Waycott, president and CEO of ABC. “The industry is expecting a 25% increase in production by 2020. This estimated 500-million-pound increase needs to be planned for now, in order to invest in global demand prior to the production hitting the market.”

Increasing Demand
This will require ABC to do more of what it has been doing to build demand, by implementing new, innovative global marketing programs.

ABC is also planning to accelerate research through its Accelerated Innovation Management (AIM) program, to ensure growers have all the tools available to deal with a changing California agriculture environment.

Building on Sustainability1
The AIM program is designed to expand and accelerate sustainability and production research in nine key areas:

  1. Irrigation and nutrients
  2. Orchard, tree and rootstock
  3. Harvesting
  4. Almond biomass, coproducts and energy
  5. Soil health management
  6. Pest management
  7. Food safety leadership
  8. Pollination
  9. Sustainability

The global marketing effort expands ABC’s programs to address production growth and changing consumer needs by:

  • Accelerating programs and their results in current markets;
  • Considering additional markets for development;
  • Increasing communication transparency and trust; and
  • Ensuring confidence in our sustainability efforts.

Members of ABC’s Board of Directors are available to discuss the assessment increase, especially as it relates to supporting AIM and global marketing efforts. Send an email to staff@almondboard.com or call the ABC office at (209) 549-8262.

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1. Sustainable almond farming utilizes production practices that are economically viable and are based upon scientific research, common sense and a respect for the environment, neighbors and employees. The result is a plentiful, nutritious and safe food product.