Unwavering Confidence in Our Future At this time last year, our industry was bracing for a monster, record-sized almond harvest, unlike any we had seen before. Coupled with the supply chain obstacles such as global shipping challenges and the height of the pandemic, there was a fair amount of uncertainty, even for those of us who had been strategically planning for a record crop.
As we near the end of the 2020 crop year, we can certainly look back with a sense of accomplishment. To date, almond industry shipments have already surpassed last year’s record shipments and are expected to exceed 2.8 billion lbs. by the end of August. As a result, we were able to successfully absorb 2020’s record 3.1 billion lb. crop in a single year, with modest carryover. The confidence we gained should serve us well in the upcoming year. This year’s National Statistical Service (NASS) Objective estimate calls for a 2.8 billion lb. almond crop. Many of us were surprised to see such wide variation between the Subjective (3.2 billion) and Objective estimates and the explanations behind the 13% swing are complex. Frankly, we won’t really know precise numbers until we have substantially received the crop, likely not until December. From your co-op’s standpoint, we anticipate and are operationally planning for a good- sized crop. Harvest is right around the corner, and I know many growers are pulling out their equipment and getting ready to shake. In the southern part of the central valley, we are already seeing nuts on the ground which signals harvest a week earlier than in most years. We will be watching the yield numbers and observing any stress on the trees from last year’s record crop that reduces kernel size and weight.
I’m sure you’ve seen that the drought in California is garnering attention around the globe. The media has reached out to the Almond Board as well as to me and some of our grower members to discuss the impacts of the drought on the crop. A consistent theme this year, that we didn’t really see in 2015/2016, is transparent discussion of climate change. Fortunately, through that conversation, the almond industry and agriculture in general have appropriately been painted as a victim of a changing climate versus a villain in terms of water consumption. Our key messaging as a co-op has been to highlight our growers’ commitment to sustainability and water efficiency. You can read more about our efforts in a new regular Almond Facts column by Sustainability Director Dr. Dan Sonke on page 36. We’ve also been able to successfully promote the sustainability of our Blue Diamond facilities as both our Salida and Turlock campuses earned certification as Green Businesses over the last few months. More information about that recognition can be found on page 13. Best of luck to you, our growers, as we enter the busiest time of the year – we’re here to support you during harvest and every step of the way.
Mark Jansen President & CEO
Mark Jansen President & CEO
A L M O N D F A C T S
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