MAY | JUNE 2012
News, Views & Industry Insights
Ground In Turlock
Working Full Speed Ahead
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CONTENTS May | June 2012
Almond Facts sits down with the
cooperative’s newest field supervisor
for the Sacramento Valley, Ryan
18 Industry Blog
President and CEO Mark Jansen
offers his “Almond Insights” to
the industry in a new video blog.
26 Beyond Baseball
Guest columnist Tom Nassiff,
President and CEO of Western
Growers, asks why baseball’s
guest worker program doesn’t
include farm laborers.
Blue Diamond kicked off its largest
capital investment in over 40 years
with a groundbreaking at the new
Turlock Plant site.
08 FIELD SUPERVISORS
10 GROWER LIAISON
14 NEWS IN A NUTSHELL
38 THE BEE BOX
40 TIME TO CONSIDER
42 CLASSIFIED ADS
From left, General Manager of Industrial
Operations Bruce Lish, President and CEO
Mark Jansen, Chairman Clinton Shick
and Turlock Project Manager Ulli Thiersch
break ground at the site of Blue Diamond’s
newest plant in Turlock.
MAY | JUNE 2012 Almond Facts 3
Von Hotzakorgian - Fresno, CA
A California Corporation
“the” Nonpareil partner
• Blooms & harvests
• Moderately vigorous tree
• Produces a soft shell
• Medium to large kernel
(U.S. Plant Patent #19555)
Board of Directors
Chairman of the Board | McFarland
Dale Van Groningen
Vice Chairman | Ripon
Dan Cummings | Chico
Charles Crivelli III | Turlock
Kevin Fondse | Ripon
Elaine Rominger | Arbuckle
George Goshgarian | Fresno
Stephen Van Duyn | Modesto
Robert Weimer | Atwater
Don Yee | El Dorado Hills
Mark Jansen, President and CEO
Dean LaVallee, Chief Financial Officer
Almond Facts Staff
Susan Brauner, Public Affairs Director
Cassandra Keyse, Managing Editor
Mel Machado, Contributing Photographer
Gray Allen, Advertising Sales
916.783.4334 & 916.765.3234
Creative • Print • Mail
• Harvests 2-3 days before
• Excellent producer
• Requires only ONE shake
& ONE harvest
• High quality nut
(U.S. Plant Patent #20295)
Blue Diamond, the world’s largest processor and marketer of almonds, exports to 90
countries. The cooperative marketing corporation also markets hazelnuts.
Almond Facts, established in 1922, is published bimonthly by Blue Diamond Growers,
1802 C Street, Sacramento, California 95811, phone: 916.442.0771. Address all
correspondence to the Editor, Almond Facts, P.O. Box 1768, Sacramento, California
95812. Advertising subscription rates provided upon request.
Blue Diamond is a registered trademark and marketing brand of Blue Diamond Growers. Other
registered trademarks are The Almond People, Smokehouse, Golden State, Celebration, From the
Valleys of California, Confetti and Almond Facts.
Advertising carried in this magazine does not necessarily reflect the beliefs, opinions,
or attitudes of Blue Diamond and does not imply product or service endorsement. Blue
Diamond reserves the right to refuse advertising. All rights reserved. Reproduction in
whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. © Blue Diamond Growers 2011.
4 Almond Facts MAY | JUNE 2012
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President and CEO
Is Two Billion Pounds
Of Almonds Enough?
Since NASS announced its May subjective
estimate of 2 billion pounds for the 2012
crop, some are worried that it is too
much. Only in the last five years has
the industry grown beyond
1 billion pounds. In this
dynamic growth industry, with
demand greater than ever, I believe
2 billion pounds is not enough.
California almond shipments continue to accelerate! Our industry is shipping 15 percent more almonds
year-to-date compared with the multi-year trend of 13 percent annual growth (see Figure 1). This year’s
record crop supported the acceleration in sales growth with innovation absorbing the additional supply.
Globally, there were nearly 2,000 new almond products launched last year — far more than any other tree
nut (see Figure 2). In addition to great taste and health benefits, consistency of supply, aggressive food safety
strategies and the relative value of almonds for major food companies are driving new product preferences
for almonds around the globe.
6 Almond Facts MAY | JUNE 2012
FIGURE 5 FIGURE 4
Last year we identified the enormous potential to expand
almond consumption in emerging markets. In particular,
we highlighted that per capita consumption of almonds
in China could grow 13 times to match that of the United
States. The growth potential is being realized, as China
became the second largest almond market in the world,
already growing to two-thirds the size of the North
American market (see Figure 3). Moreover, we are seeing
almond consumption growth in every major geographic area
of the world with the Middle East and North Africa showing
growth similar to China.
For all of these reasons, we believe that worldwide demand
should consistently exceed 10 percent annual growth
provided that we continue to have sufficient supplies.
However, over the next couple of years, we believe supply
growth could fall short of demand, driving inventory down to
record low levels.
Almond bearing acreage growth is slowing as farming
economics become more favorable across a variety
of crops. We are projecting bearing acreage growth
below the 4 percent trend for the next couple of years.
As a result, the industry will need substantial increases in
productivity and yield to keep pace with demand (see Figure 4).
Almond production is at record levels, but barely
keeping pace with demand growth. Incredibly, this year,
California will successfully absorb a 400 million pound
crop increase in a single year! With late harvests in 2010
and 2011, the almond industry learned that seven to eight
weeks of carryout inventory on hand was insufficient
to cover September and October demand. As a result,
prices have consistently risen throughout the year. If the
2012 crop is 2 billion pounds and demand growth falls
to only 10 percent, our on-hand inventory will drop to
unsupportable levels (see Figure 5). We anticipate pricing
for 2012 crop will need to increase over 2011 to bring
supply and demand into alignment.
Clearly, 2 billion
pounds is not
MAY | JUNE 2012 Almond Facts 7
Director, Member Relations
Tehama, Butte and
Receiving Coordinator, Member
and Merced Counties
Western Glenn, Colusa, Yolo,
Solano, Yuba and Sutter Counties
Special Projects Coordinator
Northern Stanislaus and San Joaquin
Northern Fresno and
Southern Madera Counties
Northern Madera and
Southern Merced Counties
Kern and Southern
South Stanislaus and Merced
County North of Merced River
Fresno, Kings and
Northern Tulare Counties
Salida Membership Department | P 209.545.6225 F 209.545.6215
Sacramento Membership Department | P 916.446.8368
8 Almond Facts MAY | JUNE 2012
The Perfect Fit.
High Crop • Low Profile • Narrow
Don’t force a bad fit. Cruise over sensitive fruit and vegetable
crops. Breeze under low-hanging canopies or doorways. Snake
through narrow vineyard or nursery rows. Whatever your specialtycrop
challenge, hit it head-on with the complete line of high-crop,
low-profile and narrow specialty tractors from John Deere.
Available in a wide range of configurations, with an impressive
list of standard and available features, the John Deere family of
specialty tractors offers equipment that fits the way you farm.
Stop by your dealer to learn more.
2012 GROWER LIAISON
Eric Behring (530) 342-8313
Bruce McClintock (530) 895-8771
Greg Overton (530) 865-2520
Dan Cummings (530) 894-5494 **
Fred Montgomery Jr. (530) 891-6625 C
Howard Isom (530) 891-0375 *
Larry Bradley (530) 893-5347
Merritt Erickson (530) 330-1871
John Nock (530) 342-2240
Lyle Livingston (530) 345-4405
(530) 899-3820 VC
Mark Lohse (530) 934-7248
Jim Wilson (530) 865-9458
Hank Wallace (530) 342-8770 !
Merlyn Garber (209) 522-3851
Gordon Heinrich (209) 524-8989
Ron Harding (209) 522-4159 VC
Sid Miller (209) 238-9946 !
Stephen Van Duyn (209) 599-4094 **
Neil Van Duyn (209) 545-1055 *
John Alberti (209) 604-4830
Gary De Vries (209) 838-2300
Pam Riddle (209) 874-9784 C
Dennis Bowers (209) 578-0713
Manuel Azevedo (209) 522-0774
Mark Giannini (209) 545-2189
Dan Howser (209) 521-2072
Bruce Oosterkamp (209) 505-6234
Matt Cotter (916) 919-1307
Jim Manhart (530) 682-5957 VC
Joe Martinez (530) 795-1928
Elaine Rominger (530) 476-2103 **
Gerald Rominger (530) 476-2103 *
Douglas Mathews (530) 476-2576 *
Richard Denison (530) 724-3514
Logan Dennis (530) 304-2907
Ranjit Dhillon (510) 375-0168
Mike DeRee (530) 695-2585
Gilbert Ramos (530) 510-7282
Matt LaGrande (530) 682-8939 C
Tim Doherty (530) 681-8206
Bob Payne (530) 662-2354
Ryan Romness (530) 790-6716 !
3 4 5
Paul Voortman (209) 838-7064
Kathy Thomsen (209) 914-2580
Joe Rishwain (209) 477-5841
(209) 599-3713 **
John Thoming (209) 835-2792 ABA
Rita E Low (209) 823-8762 !
Jim Lopes (209) 823-5930
Joe Molina (209) 479-1359
Arthur Sipma (209) 599-3017
Craig Miller (209) 914-4601 VC
Mike Bogetti (209) 835-9120
Richard Phillips (209) 858-3696
Jim Thoming Jr. (209) 601-2726
Mike Sonke (209) 612-0818 C
Dustin Wagner (209) 651-5192
Phil Mohler (209) 985-8617
Matt Visser (209) 765-9297 VC
Kevin Fondse (209) 599-2751 **
Art Weststeyn (209) 599-3193 *
Kenneth Roos (209) 599-3037 *
Will Drost (209) 838-3263 !
David Berg (209) 838-7451
David Dole (209) 599-4482
Terry Mulder (209) 599-7219
Jake Sonke (209) 599-2430 C
John Almeida (209) 599-3604
Joe Gasper (209) 838-2717
Dwain Zack (209) 838-6887
David Roos (209) 605-6564
Rich Gemperle (209) 604-8660
Lisa Giannini (209) 535-4121
Randy Bergman (209) 883-0642
Gerry Costa (209) 484-4506 !
Brian Ramos (209) 634-6917 Rep*
Charles Crivelli III (209) 667-4547 **
Steve Vilas (209) 668-4466 *
Bill Brush (209) 537-8857 ABA
Darrell Cordova (209) 874-4042
Steve Scheuber (209) 669-6848
Aaron Piazza (209) 678-0787
Ron Gonsalves (209) 668-2077
Allen Peterson (209) 667-4697 VC
(209) 648-6578 C
John Miller (209) 531-3822
Ralf Sauter (209) 394-0001
Joe Enos (209) 394-7830
Leo Lamb (209) 383-5225
Pete Bandoni (209) 722-0123 !
Robert J. Weimer (209) 358-1685 **
David L. Zollinger (209) 632-4013 *
Zenon M. Frago (209) 394-2446
David Passadori (209) 648-3418
Steve Stone (209) 357-1176 C
Don Harckson (209) 634-5830
Jim Baballe (209) 667-2763
Clark Heppner (209) 358-5298 VC
Gordon Wade (209) 394-8180
Ezio Sansoni (209) 722-6148
George Goshgarian (jr) (559) 281-4392
George Goshgarian (559) 246-4918 **ABA
Duane Cunha (559) 259-5905
Norman Pretzer (559) 485-9496
Aldo Sansoni (209) 826-4665 *
Tim Parichan (559) 435-9131 !
Jens Finderup (559) 779-9277
Dave Loquaci (559) 673-2198
Rusty Nonini (559) 908-3837
Robert Allen (559) 291-1944 VC
Kyle Rodrigues (559) 970-4906
Martin Souza (559) 385-0578
Dennis DeFreitas (559) 864-3456 !
R.J. Maan (559) 871-6048 C
Tony Ramos (559) 269-0580
Jim Sani (559) 888-2745
Don Davis (661) 792-3423
John Allen (661) 834-8439
Jeff Noble (559) 359-3844
Clinton Shick (661) 792-2660 **
Dominic Fino (559) 591-3711
Tom Schwartz (661) 797-6808 *
Ben Wilson (661) 746-4423
Ernie Spencer (559) 443-9501
Rick Jelmini (661) 599-0531
David Snell (661) 792-2424 C
Kent Stenderup (661) 854-6337 VC
Carl Nikkel (661) 589-5349
Sean Shick (805) 234-4608 !
10 Almond Facts MAY | JUNE 2012
c o n d i t i o n e r
conditioner will speed up your harvest with drier nuts, less
sticks, and conditioned product for a faster delivery to the huller.
• Removes Sticks and Debris for
clean uniform 30” windrows
• Reduces drying time for earlier
• Hydraulic bin door for even
• High capacity stick bin with left
or right belt discharge for fast unloading
• Conditioning if untimely
• Irrigate sooner
471 Industrial Ave. ∙ Ripon, CA 95366 209.599.6118 ∙ www.jackrabbit.bz
Almond Facts Sits
Down With Blue
Almond Facts (AF): Ryan, tell our readers a little
about your background.
Ryan Christy (RC): I grew up in Colusa County
and while my family didn’t farm, I have been around
agriculture my whole life — from FFA and agricultural
mechanics in high school, to my first agricultural job doing
work for a local rice farmer. It was just a natural fit. My
parents live in Williams and my girlfriend is a pest control
advisor for Wilbur Ellis in Colusa, so she helps me with
the technical terms for diseases and chemical applications.
In my free time, I really enjoy being outdoors — golfing,
waterskiing and snow boarding.
AF: In your most recent job, you worked in the
tractor industry. Are you noticing any similarities
between tractors and almonds?
RC: I worked for 10 years in the tractor industry and, in
fact, a lot of my customers happened to be Blue Diamond
members. With tractors and almonds, you encounter similar
busy seasons. There’s early spring when growers are looking
for tractors to get fields ready for the year and at the same
time, almond growers are preparing for bloom. Then comes
the usual harvest crunch time and off-season planning. I’m
noticing a lot of overlap between the two industries.
AF: How has it been working alongside newly
retired field supervisor Daryl Brun?
RC: Daryl is really a great teacher. I understand why
his background was in education because he is very
knowledgeable and easygoing. About 90 percent of the
people that I’ve met since I started in February have told
me that I’ve got big shoes to fill. And of those people, one
grower told me not to worry about filling Daryl’s shoes,
but to “just stand in them.” Seeing how much people
respect Daryl, I can tell that his are rather large shoes.
AF: What was your first impression of Blue
Diamond and how has that impression grown in
your first few months on the job?
RC: When I interviewed for this position with (President
and CEO) Mark Jansen and (Director of Member
Relations) Dave Baker, it was late in the afternoon on a
Thursday. You know what I noticed that day? Every single
person that came through the lobby had a smile on their
face. It was clear that no one was fighting to get out the
door at 5 p.m. And as I learn more and more about the
cooperative, I can tell that there is a great attitude around
here. People have been very helpful and genuinely nice.
AF: What are your goals as an incoming field
RC: I hope to uphold Blue Diamond’s high reputation
in the industry and to do the best job I can to follow in
Daryl’s footsteps. I want to keep learning so I can be an
informative, helpful resource for our growers.
12 Almond Facts MAY | JUNE 2012
What’s the best reason to partner
with us now? You decide.
u Balanced risk
u Industry-leading returns
u Year ‘round selling strategy
u Worldwide marketing power
u Faster payments
u Powerful consumer brand
u Innovative product development
u More payment options
u More contract options
u Cutting-edge technology
There are so many great reasons to partner with Blue Diamond Growers. Whether you’re
looking to balance risk, expand your marketing efforts or ensure consistently high returns.
Blue Diamond has been focused on the success of California’s almond industry for nearly 100
years. Today, as a streamlined organization with global reach, we’re ready to meet the challenges
of the ever-changing marketplace.
Partner with the world’s leading
MAY | JUNE 2012 Almond Facts 13
NEWS IN A NUTSHELL
The North American Retail team
continues their efforts to connect
with consumers through social
media platforms such as Facebook.
Launching at the end of 2011, the
Blue Diamond Almonds Facebook page now has more than 50,000 fans and
counting! The page is home to a product tab, which allows users to learn
about a given product, order it online, locate it in a nearby store and even
recommend the product to their social networks.
Facebook brand pages also now allow for a timeline feature, giving Blue
Diamond the opportunity to showcase its rich history. On the heels of the
successful “Kick Up the Taste” Super Bowl-themed Facebook promotion,
the next several months will see two additional Facebook promotions.
Blue Diamond Almond Breeze has been expanding its social media presence
extensively this year. The Almond Breeze Facebook Page has more than
52,000 fans and boasts a robust recipe tab. On the tab, users can search
for recipes by category (Appetizers, Beverages & Smoothies, Breakfast,
Entrees, Snacks & Dessert and Soups & Sauces), rate the recipe and also
recommend the recipe to their friends. Complementing the Facebook Page
is the increasing number of placements on prevalent mom blogs, a key area
of influence in the social space.
Want to see for yourself?
Visit and “like” these two pages at www.facebook.com/
bluediamondalmonds and www.facebook.com/almondbreeze.
Quelf, a trivia game that doles out penalties for wrong
answers, included some Blue Diamond trivia on this
Quizzle card. Hopefully Almond Facts readers can avoid
this chilly penalty!
14 Almond Facts MAY | JUNE 2012
in Top 100
Of the nation’s more than 4,000 agricultural cooperatives, Blue Diamond
Growers ranks No. 31 in a list of the top 100 co-ops. The report from the U.S.
Department of Agriculture’s Cooperative Programs department included
seven cooperatives from California. With $779 million in reported revenue
in 2010, Blue Diamond is the only nut cooperative on the list. In total, the 100
organizations on the list reported near-record revenue of $118 billion in 2010,
which was an increase of 4 percent over 2009 figures. Total expenses in 2010 for
the top 100 were up $575 million since 2009—with labor being the highest cost
increase at 7 percent or $4.6 billion.
In the USDA announcement, Rural Development Under Secretary Dallas
Tonsager said, “Farmer and rancher-owned cooperatives are a mainstay in the
American economy, not only helping members market and process their crops,
milk and livestock and creating jobs, but also helping producers keep more of the
earnings derived from their products at home, in rural counties and communities.”
Almond Breeze Of The Month:
Berry Punch Cocktail
MAY | JUNE 2012 Almond Facts 15
Culinary Students Explore
Blue Diamond R&D
As Blue Diamond’s foodservice business expands, one goal for growing almond
consumption is to establish and deepen industry partnerships. In pursuit of
this goal, Annette Magee, Blue Diamond’s Foodservice Marketing Manager,
met with visiting students from the Culinary Institute of America’s Hyde
Park campus, one of the leading food industry institutions in the world,
to showcase the cooperative’s
processing, marketing and product
NEWS IN A NUTSHELL
The students, all in the junior year
of their bachelor’s program, are
interested in pursuing research and
development as a potential career
avenue, combining their culinary
and baking or pastry skills with
their ability to develop recipes.
In addition to Blue Diamond, the
group visited wineries, restaurants
and other food producers in the
Northern California region, from
Monterey to Santa Rosa.
Our new formulation makes winning easier.
Growers know the importance of beating mites in key crops like almonds and citrus.
With new ABBA Ultra, your path to success is even easier. New ABBA Ultra delivers the
exceptional, long lasting mite control you expect from an abamectin, with the added benefit of
reduced impact on air quality. The new, concentrated formula allows you to use ABBA Ultra at
half the rate of standard abamectins, resulting in less product handling, storage and packaging
waste. It’s time to make it easier to beat mites. Ask your PCA or retailer for new ABBA Ultra.
As the world’s largest processor
and marketer of almonds,
Blue Diamond has a unique
voice in the almond industry.
The cooperative, which boasts
more than half of the almond
growers in the state, ships
almonds to more than 90
countries worldwide and works
every day to increase its reach
around the world.
“Almond Insights” is an online
platform through which Blue
Diamond’s President and CEO, Mark Jansen, can communicate to
the almond industry in a timely manner, providing commentary on
events as they happen to global ingredient customers and business
partners. Growers and other interested audiences are encouraged
to visit the blog and subscribe to the email feed to receive an update
in their inbox each month.
The blog features monthly video “episodes” in which Jansen
comments on the state of the almond industry, including discussions
about shipment reports, the crop’s development, significant weather
events and emergent trends. The videos are accompanied by four
categories of written blog posts — Bloom Report, Industry Trends,
Mark’s Corner and Market Updates — that will also be updated on
a monthly basis and provide additional information for visitors to
learn more about the almond industry.
“This blog is an excellent tool for our global ingredient customers
to keep informed of the factors that drive their business,” Bill
Morecraft, General Manager for the Global Ingredient Division,
said. “We’re encouraging all our customers to subscribe to the blog.”
Debbie Rogoff, one of Blue Diamond’s Regional Sales Manager,
thinks the blog is an innovative idea. “This is a wonderful
opportunity to share with all of our customers and it’s a service that
no one else has,” she said. “What a huge value!”
Check out “Almond Insights” today at
Since 1970: Ron Barnes
Tested & Discovered the
Benefits in Shur-Crop;
Shur-Crop Helps To:
• Aid growers in producing bumper crops.
• Aid plants with increased seed germination.
• Aid crops to greater resistance against frost.
• Aid crops to get more nutrients from the soil.
• Aid crops to build up resistance to disease.
• Aid crops to build up resistance to insect pest.
• Aid in prolonging the shelf life of such crops.
For more information on Shur-Crop
Contact Blue Diamond Grower:
Shur-Crop is manufactured in California
from certified organic Icelandic Kelp.
By Lee Kender, Inc.
P O Box 472, Orville Ca 95965
18 Almond Facts MAY | JUNE 2012
CORNERING THE MARKET
Take Me Out
to the Ball Game!
Blue Diamond Smokehouse Almonds make the Major League line-up
Baseball fans across
the country are
on their home
teams now that
the 2012 season
of America’s past
time is underway.
To engage with
sports fans, Blue
Diamond’s North American Retail Division is launching a cooperative radio
campaign with key retailers in the markets of six Major League teams: the
San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners, Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado
Rockies and reigning world champion St. Louis Cardinals.
During the heart of the season, from May to July, baseball fans
in these six markets will be introduced to Blue Diamond Almonds
and learn where they can purchase products from the cooperative
through 30-second commercials played before, during and after
selected games. The North American Retail team is confidant that
this program will be even more successful than in previous years!
New this year is a partnership with the Kroger Meal Deal program
featured at Cincinnati Reds games. For six games at the end of
April, guests who purchased a Kroger Meal Deal at up to 22
Ball Park were treated
with Blue Diamond
Smokehouse Almonds in
The Kroger Meal Deal is
a collaboration between
Kroger Senior Management and
the Cincinnati Reds. Throughout
the baseball season, only 30
manufactures are selected to
participate during the Cincinnati
Reds Home Games, where their
product is featured as part of the
Kroger Meal Deal.
“I attended the first game of our
series with National Category
Manager Tyler Connell, and we
witnessed firsthand the excitement
and enthusiasm of this unique
program. It was truly a Blue Diamond
night,” said Bert Hanson, Blue
Diamond Sales Director. “While this
particular program highlighted the
partnership between Blue Diamond
and Kroger, our long standing
relationship with Major League
Baseball and the National Football
League have made the Blue Diamond
Brand synonymous with
healthy snacks and sports.”
In addition, promotions
for the Kroger Meal Deal
Smokehouse Almonds for
the duration of the
images of the product on
television banners located
throughout the park, on
the railings in the visitor’s
dugout and mentioning
the product in radio
and television coverage of
the game. As one last reminder
of delicious Smokehouse Almonds,
stadium employees handed out
approximately 7,500 samples to fans
as they exit the stadium after each of
the six games.
20 Almond Facts MAY | JUNE 2012
“Reds fans will certainly remember Blue Diamond Almonds after attending one of these games,” said Maya Erwin,
Snack Group Marketing Manager for the North American Retail Division. “We expect an increase in sales from these
promotions in each of the selected Major League Baseball markets!”
Now at Walgreens
“Innovation is at the heart of our business and new products are the
lifeblood,” said John O’Shaughnessy, General Manager of the
North American Retail Division.
When Walgreens, one of the largest North American Retail
customers, approached Blue Diamond about creating
new flavors to sell exclusively at their stores, it was an
opportunity that couldn’t be passed up. The partnership will feature a line of
specially flavored six-ounce cans of almonds that will change with the seasons, meaning they will
only be available for a short time.
Head to your local Walgreens to pick up spring’s exclusive flavor, Toasted Coconut, while supplies
last. These almonds have a subtle coconut flavor that echoes the flavor profile of Blue Diamond’s
newest line of Almond-Coconut Breeze. The next seasonal flavor, Backyard BBQ, will hit Walgreens’
shelves in July.
Uniform Growth, Higher
Production, Proven Performance
• Kyrmsk® 86 *
• Controller® 9.5
• Brights * Hybrid®
• Empyrean® 1 *
Everything you’ve dreamt about
• Clonal Paradox
• Crown Gall Free
• Easy to Plant
• Uniformly Vigorous
• Highly productive
* P2G exclusive
www.duartenursery.com • Hughson, Ca.
www.duartenursery.com • Hughson, Ca.
With Blue Diamond, the
World is Your Almond
Adding Value Through Expertise and Partnership
CORNERING THE MARKET
“Food companies the world over continue to embrace almonds as the
most versatile, affordable and healthful tree nut ingredient available,”
said Warren Cohen, Director of Worldwide Sales for Blue Diamond
Almonds Global Ingredient division. “We are experiencing dynamic
growth around the world. China is now nearly two-thirds the size of the
world’s largest market, the United States.”
Data from a 2011 study supplied by Innova Market Insights shows
Asia led all countries in new snack item introductions, generating
approximately 40 percent of the global snack launches from mid-2010 to
mid-2011. “Our customers see almonds as a value-adding ingredient that
boosts the quality of their branded products,” said Cohen.
The versatility of this tree nut has almost endless possibilities with how it can
be used in food applications, enabling Blue Diamond’s ingredient customers
to create innovative new products with almonds. “As a true partner, we
have to bring the highest value to our customers,” Cohen explained.
For Blue Diamond, that means more than filling an order — it means
filling in the blanks and asking the right questions. “Suggesting
alternatives that are just right for their product, from the perfect crunch
in chocolates to a flavor profile that complements their cereal,” Cohen
said. “After all, one almond doesn’t fit all. Fortunately, we have the
variety, the forms and expertise to meet customers’ exacting specifications
and the uninterrupted supply that keeps them on schedule.”
Blue Diamond’s Global Ingredient division reaches more than 90
countries around the world. Global customers seek out Blue Diamond for
their almond needs because the cooperative lends expertise in product
development, quality control and food safety programs.
North American Almond Products
Popular Across Categories
As Blue Diamond’s largest and most
mature market, North
know almonds well. John
Wagaman, a veteran sales
manager for the Global
Ingredients team, recognizes the
knowledge of his customers and
appreciates their insight when
requesting unique products.
“The fun part of working with
ingredient customers in North America
is how well they know almonds and the
value almonds bring to their products,”
The foundation for many of Blue
Diamond’s relationships with customers in
North America was established decades
ago, a testament to the inherent value
of working with the leader in almonds.
Many iconic confectionary products
containing almonds have come from
Blue Diamond. “One obvious benefit is
the scale Blue Diamond brings to our
ingredient customers. We can front load
a new product launch that might require
multiple truckloads of a unique almond
ingredient in a very short period of
time,” Wagaman said.
In grocery stores across North America,
Wagaman listed the various product
categories where Blue Diamond almonds
are used as an ingredient. “It is with
the greatest of joy that a Blue Diamond
grower-owner or employee can walk the
grocery aisles of their local store and find
food containing almonds in numerous
locations — from famous candy bars
or delicious cereals and cereal bars, to
snack nuts and ice cream.”
Recipes Fuel Western
Europe is a well-developed market,
steeped in traditional culinary creations
that include almonds as a key ingredient.
Across the European Union almonds
play a distinct role, from French pastries
to German confections, Italian nougat to
almond snacks in the United Kingdom.
sophisticated market, Japanese ingredient customers are
looking for a high quality, safety assured product, which
Blue Diamond supplies.
“Almonds are very popular tree nuts for general consumers
in Japan and elsewhere for their taste, flavor and nutritious
qualities,” said Eiichi Fujimoto, Blue Diamond’s Japan sales
representative. “For many of our Japanese customers, new
products with almonds are best sellers in their product line.”
“Historically, as almonds were traded into Europe on
the Silk Road, they were woven into traditional culinary
backgrounds of European countries. Our customers in the
EU are interested in whole brown almonds as well as all
varieties of value-added almonds for incorporation into
baking and confectionary products,” said John Gaffney,
European sales manager.
Experience and market expertise in the almond industry
are two main reasons why European customers turn to
Blue Diamond for their almond specifications. According to
Gaffney, Blue Diamond’s knowledgable staff, from customer
service to quality assurance, provide an extra level of
confidence in our products from a buyer’s standpoint.
“Our team is the best I’ve ever worked with,” Gaffney
said. “They have the right approach and always work hard
to get the job done.”
Despite the prevalence of almonds in the European diet,
Blue Diamond’s Global Ingredient’s team is working to
continue to increase almond consumption by introducing
new product ideas for additional opportunities to longtime
partners in the region. An example of a potential
growth opportunity is in breakfast cereals. “The European
breakfast — consisting of cheeses, cold meat and breads
— is traditionally very different from the American
breakfast,” said Gaffney. “Blue Diamond’s innovative
product development team is actively researching ways to
include almonds in European cereals to entice consumers
into the cereal market.”
Market Enjoys Almond
The Japanese market for almonds was
first pried opened by Blue Diamond
in the 1950s and has continued to mature ever since. A
In working with Japanese customers, Blue Diamond strives
to meet and exceed product specifications to ensure the
highest quality end product for the customer. According to
Fujimoto, most national branded confectionary companies
prefer high quality brown almonds, size graded to their
individual needs. Bakeries, on the other hand, look for
Blanched Sliced almonds specially designed for the
While confectionary and bakery are the traditional
avenues into the Japanese market, Fujimoto gave reflected
on future trends. “We see more almonds going into
the healthy-nutritius food products such as energy and
nutrition bars. Almonds are also becoming increasingly
popular with women as a nutritious whole food and
ingredient for family meals,” he said.
The other prevalent trend is for snacking. In general, the
preferred almond for snacking is dry-roasted and unsalted,
conveying a pure almond taste. “This product concept has
mushroomed into the best selling item with most snack nut
marketers in Japan in the past five years!” Fujimoto explained.
The Asian market
is one of the fastest
growing markets in the world for almonds, according to a
report by the Almond Board of California. This growth
in almond consumption has translated to good news for
Blue Diamond, according to Jeff Sleeper, international
“Asian buyers and customers are turning to almonds
because they are so versatile compared to other tree nuts,”
he said. “They have the right taste, are healthy, come with
stable pricing and have great stage presence — they just
look nice and enticing in dishes.”
continued on next page »
MAY | JUNE 2012 Almond Facts 23
CORNERING THE MARKET
According to Sleeper, these markets look
to Blue Diamond for their almond supply
because of the long-term relationships they
enjoy with the cooperative. “Our ability
to be there for our Asian customers longterm
goes a long way. They appreciate our
reliability and willingness to meet with them
face-to-face, and we are happy to provide
that stable relationship,” Sleeper said.
He explained that customers and
consumers in this region of the world
have a special appreciation for farmers.
“There is a great respect for farmers and
agriculture in general, and they very much
value the work that goes into growing,
harvesting and processing the world’s food
supply,” he explained. “They have great
trust that our almonds are the highest
quality and safest products in the world.
This was particularly important during the
aftermath of the tsunami when safe food
was vital to Japanese customers.”
Through Customer Service
Bill Morecraft, General Manager of the Global
Ingredients Division, provided this outlook on the current
state of the industry and what else his division is doing to
grow as the industry leader.
“Almonds continue to be an ever-popular
choice among consumers. For example,
analysis of the U.S. grocery market for
2011, excluding Wal-Mart and club stores,
showed that within the cereal category,
cereals with almonds account for nearly
$500 million in revenue. Put another
way, 7.6 percent of all cereals sold contain
almonds!” Morecraft said. “The choice for
almonds in snack and energy bars remains
high with almonds found in 20 percent of
the products within the grocery segment,
accounting for more than $530 million in
revenue. Category sales increased by 3.5
percent in 2011 over the prior year and by
10.4 percent when compared to 2009.”
Blue Diamond continues to raise the bar with
regard to the services and expertise we
provide to our customers. “Our approach
is unique. It is the ‘deep dive’ we are
doing to provide critical information to
our sales team, that enables them to be
category experts for how to incorporate
almonds within our customers’ business
segments,” he explained. “This enhanced experience is
just one example of how we set ourselves apart from our
Blue Diamond’s product and business development
teams work hand-hand with customers’ R&D, logistics
24 Almond Facts MAY | JUNE 2012
and support teams. Through direct communications,
Blue Diamond is able to help customers envision and
attain solutions that meet their exacting requirements.
Relationships with top-tier customers are broad and deep,
with senior management connecting throughout worldclass
“Today we serve our customers better than ever,”
Morecraft continued. “We are experts in the business
segments, we monitor the latest trends for products with
almonds and we have a high level of collaboration with
customers, all part of the formula for providing solid
Continually looking for ways to add value and exceeding
the expectations of their customers sets Blue Diamond
Global Ingredients apart from any other almond supplier
in the world.
With goodness this
delicious, healthy living
is a Breeze in Australia!
Blue Diamond’s efforts to deliver the benefits of almonds to the world
have expanded “Down Under” with the March 2012 launch of Original
and Unsweetened Original Almond Breeze in Australia. As the second
highest per capita consumer of dairy substitutes in the west and with
a growing ethnic population inclined to lactose intolerance, Australia
stands out as a natural choice for extending the reach of Almond Breeze.
Blue Diamond Almonds are shipped in paste form directly from Sacramento to
Sydney where the finished product is produced and filled in one-liter Tetrapak
aseptic cartons prior to shipping out to retail stores nationwide.
“In our first month of sales we secured distribution in more than 700
supermarkets across Australia and while it is clearly very early in our launch,
I am pleased to report that initial sales are very encouraging and new orders
are strong,” said Roger Ringwood, Blue Diamond’s Australian consultant.
Blue Diamond has seen its popular almondmilk brand soar in the United
States. According to Tina Cao, Associate Marketing Manager for the
International Retail Team, “Australia has many consumer parallels to United States markets. For
example, they are very aware of the health benefits when comparing almondmilk to dairy milk
and soymilk. We plan to extend the successful approach we use to market almondmilk to U.S.
consumers to the Australian marketplace.”
“Australians are generally very health conscious,” Ringwood added. “Cholesterol is a particularly
important issue here and Almond Breeze checks the right boxes given low fat and no cholesterol.
Aussies are also big consumers of cereal and fruit smoothies and we like to bake, all of which
provides real opportunity to drive growth.”
Currently, the non-dairy category in Australia is led by soymilk. With a strong marketing
and promotions campaign, Cao and the International Retail team believe Blue Diamond can
become the category leader in the non-dairy nut segment and open a new, high value market for
Blue Diamond’s grower-owners. In order to spread the word about Almond Breeze, 30-second
commercials demonstrate the health benefits, great taste and versatility of Breeze.
For more information on this exciting product line expansion, visit www.almondbreeze.com.au!
MAY | JUNE 2012 Almond Facts 25
Guest Column By Tom Nassif
“Americans can survive without guest workers who swing a bat, but we would not survive long
without guest workers who hand-cut our fresh vegetables and fruit.”
Miguel Cabrera, third baseman for the Detroit Tigers, is a six-time All-Star and the reigning American League
batting champion. He’s about to play in his 10th season. During the off-season, Cabrera resides with his wife and
daughter in Maracay, Venezuela. That makes Mr. Cabrera a guest worker.
He is one in a huge labor
force welcomed into America
for seasonal labor. But while
baseball players enjoy special
treatment, bigger players
in the nation’s economy—
farm workers—enjoy no
such streamlined approach.
And yet the farm industry
is valued at $60 billion, or
3.5 times the worth of Major
Mr. Cabrera was one of the
234 foreign-born players that
filled one of the 750 spots on
last year’s opening day roster
of Major League Baseball.
26 Almond Facts MAY | JUNE 2012
The New York Yankees had 16 and the
Texas Rangers had 10. In fact, more than
one out of four of all major-league players
were foreign-born in 2011. And looking at
the farm teams, nearly half of all minorleague
players — about 3,400 of them —
were not born in America.
These workers are not castigated for their
immigrant status or vilified for “taking jobs
away from American workers.” They are
permitted to move freely throughout the U.S.
and can cross our borders as they please.
“If the president
and Congress can
find a solution for
baseball, surely they
can find a solution
workers exceeded the limit of 65,000 visas set aside for that program,
with only 700 available for minor-league baseball. The lack of available
visas barred a number of players from the U.S., forcing them either
to sit out the season or to play in the Dominican Summer League.
Amateur or minor-league athletes were prevented from qualifying for
P-1 and O-1 visas — visas restricted to “internationally recognized” or
“extraordinary ability” athletes.
continued on next page »
The EXACT E-1150 Sweeper is
designed to minimize dust for
maximum harvesting efficiency.
Major League Baseball has to sign the
best players internationally to compete.
For this to work, the immigration system
must recognize that these foreign-born
individuals are indispensable to the game
and to professional sports.
Well, guess what? Farm workers are also
indispensable seasonal workers. The security
of a domestic supply of fresh fruits and
vegetables rests on their shoulders because
Americans do not, and will not, take jobs in
the fields. But baseball got its own new guest
worker visa program.
Come see what RalphWesterhoff
and his crew can do for you!!
Location in VISALIA
at 828 N. Patriot Street.
Historically, the only way for minor-league
baseball players — the entry step into
the major leagues — to gain admittance
into the U.S. was to get an H-2B seasonal
worker visa — a system wrapped up in
government red tape. In 2005, demand for
Built by farmers for farmers…we understand!
To see our complete line of products, please visit
MAY | JUNE 2012 Almond Facts 27
Major League Baseball set out to solve its workers’ immigration
problems. In 2006, Congress passed and President George W.
Bush signed the Compete Act, which allows certain amateur and
semiprofessional athletes to qualify for temporary work visas. As a
result, international amateur and minor-league athletes are eligible
to participate and compete in sports in the U.S., without having to
be “internationally recognized” for their athletic ability.
Because we are MORE
than just a smile
and a handshake!
So what about the guest-worker program
for farm workers? The only way to bring
in seasonal foreign farm workers is the
H-2A program — also full of red tape.
The Department of Labor program is so
complicated that it’s almost impossible to
use without a lawyer. As a result, it barely
provides 2 percent of the total agricultural
When farmers do use the program,
they take a big risk. Hot weather can
accelerate a harvest and therefore
the need for workers. Late workers in
agriculture are the same as no workers,
because crops then rot in fields. Imagine
if the Yankees had 16 players stuck in
their home countries on Opening Day
due to visa delays.
While the baseball industry can now
smooth the way for its work force,
American agriculture is in dire need of
the same guest-worker reform. How is it
that elected officials can move with speed
to clear the way for one specialized group
of foreign workers and not find a way to
fix a broken and unworkable system for
another group? Americans can survive
without international guest workers who
swing a bat, but we would not survive long
without guest workers who hand-cut our
fresh vegetables and fruit.
If the president and Congress can find a
solution for baseball, surely they can find
a solution for agriculture.
Steve Neill Greg Correa Nick Pomering
530-933-9794 530-844-0082 661-979-4885
100 Years in Newcastle, Ca 800-675-6075 FowlerNurseries.com
Tom Nassif is the president and CEO of
Western Growers and served as ambassador
to Morocco in the Reagan administration. A
version of this article appeared Mar. 26, 2012,
on page A15 in some U.S. editions of The
Wall Street Journal, with the headline: Beyond
Baseball’s Guest Workers.
28 Almond Facts MAY | JUNE 2012
When it comes to fungicides,
one star seems to stand out.
The powerful broad-spectrum disease control of
Inspire Super ® fungicide stands out above all others. By
combining a best-in-class triazole with a second highly
effective fungicide, growers of pome fruit, almonds,
grapes and many vegetables can depend on its
superior performance. Proven across the world, it stops
disease in its tracks. For power and reliability, there’s
no better choice than “top of the class” Inspire Super.
©2012 Syngenta. Important: Always read and follow all bag tag and label instructions before buying or using Syngenta products. The
instructions contain important conditions of sale, including limitations of warranty and remedy. All crop protection products and
seed treatments may not be registered for sale or use in all states. Please check with your state or local extension service before
buying or using these products. Inspire Super ® , the Alliance frame, the Purpose icon and the Syngenta logo are trademarks of a Syngenta
Group Company. Syngenta Customer Center: 1-866-SYNGENT(A) (796-4368). www.FarmAssist.com MW 10CC2006-Super-P1 04/12
“In our continuing efforts to deliver the
benefits of almonds to the world, our new
plant in Turlock will allow us to expand
our value-added product lines. It will seal
our promise to be THE global almond
ingredients and consumer retail market
leader so that we can continue to create the
healthiest almond products in the world!”
proclaimed Mark Jansen, Blue Diamond
President and CEO.
Blue Diamond officially launched Phase 1 of its
new manufacturing plant in Turlock at an onsite
groundbreaking ceremony in early April. The first
phase of the project is scheduled for completion in
May 2013. It will provide about 200,000 square
feet of building space for manufacturing and
delivering new almond products worldwide. The
three-phased project will eventually yield a total of
about 500,000 square feet of building space over
the next 15 years.
Blue Diamond made its last major investment in
1968 in its Salida Plant. At that time, California
was producing 140 million pounds of almonds.
“Compare that to this year’s crop of about 2
billion pounds and you can better understand why
we are making a major investment to expand our
business,” explained Jansen.
Chairman of the Board, Clinton Shick, summed up
the collective feeling from the ceremony during his
on stage remarks: “I feel like this celebration is really
a continuation of the incremental steps we’ve taken
over past years and will take over the next 100 years
to continue to be the world almond leader!”
Blue Diamond’s Board Chairman Clinton Shick (at podium
on stage) proposes a toast to “a strong and secure partnership”
with the Turlock community as officials from Blue Diamond
and local dignitaries break ground with their gold-plated
From left, Blue Diamond General Manager of
Industrial Operations Bruce Lish, Turlock City Manager
Roy Wasden, Blue Diamond grower Matt Swanson,
California Undersecretary of Agriculture Sandra Schubert,
Blue Diamond President and CEO Mark Jansen, United
States Congressman Jeff Denham, Turlock Mayor John Lazar,
Stanislaus County Supervisor William O’Brien and Blue
Diamond Director of Project Construction Ulli Thiersch.
The Blue Diamond Board of Directors with President and
CEO Mark Jansen. From left, Bob Weimer (District 7), George
Goshgarian (District 8), Kevin Fondse (District 4), Dan
Cummings (District 1), Charles Crivelli (District 6), President and
CEO Mark Jansen, Chairman Clinton Shick (District 9), Elaine
Rominger (District 2), Don Yee (Member-at-Large), Steve Van
Duyn (District 5) and Vice Chair Dale Van Groningen (District 3).
30 Almond Facts MAY | JUNE 2012
Denham, whose district
represents parts of
and Stanislaus Counties,
said he was “proud to
be part of this industry
and proud to be a Blue
“When I became
mayor, I prayed
for a game changer
and He gave us
Mayor John Lazar.
“We commend Blue Diamond on how they
integrate with each community they
invest in. We at CDFA look forward to
watching you grow,” said Sandra Schubert,
Undersecretary of Agriculture.
continued on next page »
President and CEO Mark Jansen presents a
donation to Turlock Unified School District
Superintendent Dr. Sonny Da Marto as a
thank you to the student band members
and Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training
Corps that performed at the ceremony.
MAY | JUNE 2012 Almond Facts 31
Staff and guests enjoy the Groundbreaking ceremony on the site of the Blue Diamond’s newest plant in Turlock.
It’s time to take back your profits.
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Proclaim ® insecticide knocks down profit-robbing worms and keeps them down with the most powerful lepidopteran
active ingredient on the planet. Proclaim is the most powerful because it is effective against lepidopteran pests at
lower use rates than any other active ingredient growers can buy. It penetrates deep into leaf tissue to provide
long-lasting control that’s tough on worms and easy on beneficials. Keep your crops and bottom line protected.
Reach for reliability first—with Proclaim.
©2011 Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC, 410 Swing Road, Greensboro, NC 27409. Important: Always read and follow label instructions before buying or using Syngenta products.
The instructions contain important conditions of sale, including limitations of warranty and remedy. Proclaim is a Restricted Use Pesticide. Proclaim is highly toxic to bees
exposed to direct treatment on blooming crops and weeds. Do not apply this product or allow it to drift onto blooming plants while bees are foraging adjacent to the treatment
area. Proclaim ® and the Syngenta logo are registered trademarks of a Syngenta Group Company. Syngenta Customer Center: 1 866-SYNGENT(A) (796-4368). www.FarmAssist.com
MW 1TNV1007-H1 3/11
32 Almond Facts MAY | JUNE 2012
Navy officers in training from Turlock High School’s Navy
Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps presented the
colors on stage.
Students from the Turlock and Pitman High
School Bands came together in a brass ensemble
to entertain guests at the Turlock Plant
MAY | JUNE 2012 Almond Facts 33
AGRICULTURAL COUNCIL OF CALIFORNIA
Council of California
EMILY ROONEY, President
Cap & Trade
With compliance of AB 32, the Global Warming
Solutions Act of 2006, just around the corner, private
businesses are strategizing on how to deal with
increasing energy costs or the potential of having to
participate in a statewide cap and trade program.
Approximately 35 food processors in California are
“over the cap” with respect to carbon emissions, which
means participation in cap and trade is required. Costs
for these employers will skyrocket, potentially into
the millions of dollars per facility. The California Air
Resources Board (CARB) forecasts that billions of
dollars will flow in to state coffers due to the cap and
trade program on an annual basis.
This is an attractive source of revenue for a financially
As a new and robust source of revenue for our state,
the options of what to do with the funds are many.
Governor Brown stated that revenues from the
statewide cap and trade program would be a source of
funding for California’s high-speed rail project. The
environmental justice community is seeking revenues to
divert to their special interests. Whenever a legislator or
regulatory official is seeking funds to implement a pet
project, nine times out of 10, their answer to funding
right now is cap and trade.
Virtually almost all of these funds will come from
private business. So, what should the state do with
If the state insists on continuing this program, even
amidst these rough economic times, Ag Council
believes the funds should be returned to the companies
that pay into the program.
It is naïve to think the Legislature or CARB
would have the virtue to cut 100 percent rebate
checks directly to those that pay into the system,
even though the money belongs to the business
community. And, legally, the state has to find
programs to fund that are consistent with the
goals of AB 32.
As it currently stands, the Legislature has yet to
make a decision. CARB and the Governor’s office
have generally hinted at priorities, but nothing has
been solidified to date. The Governor has included
these revenues in his proposed budget, so he is
counting on them to fund high-speed rail or assist
in closing the budget deficit in creative ways.
Revenues from cap and trade should go toward
projects that support its initial goals. These goals
include reducing greenhouse gas emissions,
improving energy efficiency and adapting to
climate change. These funds could be utilized to
improve research for cost-effective technologies
that would reduce emissions for food processors,
and to provide cost-share grants or rebates for
energy or water efficiency projects.
Any leftover funds should be returned to the
entities funding the program as a rebate to
address increasing costs. Agriculture — and food
processing, specifically — should be a priority
given our strong economic presence in this state.
Cap and trade was created at a time when the
state’s economy was booming. At the time,
California was being held up as a leader in
climate change. Even though this program was
drafted in 2006, times have dramatically changed
over the past six years. That means the results
should change, too.
Cap and trade is law, so California is legally
required to reduce greenhouse gases, but the
revenues should not be used as a cash cow for the
state, particularly when the legislature is slow to
deal with its own financial struggles.
34 Almond Facts MAY | JUNE 2012
W E G R O W
Trust is a commodity that’s earned over time. As part of the Farm
Credit System we’ve been here since 1916, lending money to farmers,
ranchers, growers and co-operatives — all aspects of agribusiness.
And we’re still growing strong, offering financial services that make
sense for you and customer service that is second to none.
Visit www.FarmCreditAlliance.com to learn more.
MAY | JUNE 2012 Almond Facts 35
Annual Golf Tournament
Successful Thanks to
Sponsors and Donors
ROVRAL – SCALA
– GEM –RELY280 –
MOVENTO – LUNA –
Drew Neilsen – 916.549.2848,
Research Triangle Park, NC
Bank of America –
Bob Munn & Dan Evans,
Sacramento, CA –
Wells Fargo & Company
– Gary Orr
CoBank – Ed Nishio,
Sacramento, CA –
Yosemite Farm Credit –
Melba Miyamoto, Turlock, CA
V-V Enterprises – Dave
Van Vliet, Ripon, CA –
American AgCredit –
Audrey Lopes-Dermond, Turlock
International Paper Co.
– Jay Jordan, Elk Grove, CA –
Company – Jim Parola,
Twain Harte, CA –
O.M.C / WESCO –
Ken Stewart - 559.779.9009
Joe Martinez - 530.673.2822
Yuba City, CA
Alexander Trucking –
Craig Alexander, Earlimart, CA
– Bob Button, Dixon, CA –
Valley Farm Transport
– Dave Nickum, Dixon, CA –
Winton, Ireland, Strom,
& Green Insurance – Tom
Murphy, Livingston, CA –
209.394.7925 & Turlock, CA
Malcolm Media (PNP
Magazine) – Dan Malcolm,
Clovis, CA – 559.298.6675
Garton Tractor, Inc. –
Bill Garton & Eugene Kajioka,
Turlock, CA – 209.632.3931
KEVKO Enterprises –
Kevin Kollmeyer, Ripon, CA –
Instrument Co. – George
Anasis, La Verne, CA –
Karl M. Smith, Inc. – Victor
Gamez, Corcoran, CA –
The Hat Source – Teresa &
Mike Hansen, Atwater, CA –
R. L. Wells & Associates
– Rick Wells
Association – Tony Plaza
Shelling – Tom Schwartz
Country Ford Trucks –
Minturn Hulling Coop –
Rick Kindle & Associates
Fleisig Consulting – Bill
Syngenta – David Genzoli
Sunsweet – Bob Kolberg
Sunmaid – Rick Stark
Pan American Insurance
– Ray Avila
Pacific Distributing Inc.
– Billy Ashby
Mid Valley Agricultural
Services – Byron Kurosaki
36 Almond Facts MAY | JUNE 2012
MAY | JUNE 2012 Almond Facts 37
The Bee Box
& MEG RIBOTTO
» Grower and 5th
generation beekeeper, Rick
Smith, champions bee
In the last 30 years, something has
been happening in Yuma that others
in the agricultural world and beyond
are awakening to. It’s been the topic of
several conversations and meetings in
our nation’s capital where policy is being
discussed. In recent EPA and chemical
industry meetings, the “Yuma Success
Story” is being discussed with interest.
What is the Yuma Success Story and why
should we be interested?
THE BEE BOX
“Healthier bees going into winter gives us healthier bees coming out of winter,” so says
Alan Clarke, Arizona beekeeper and almond pollinator. Clarke has firsthand
experience with collapsing honey bee colony populations. Just prior
to almond pollination a few years ago, he lost more than 80 percent of his
colonies between Thanksgiving Day and early January. That’s a tough hit
for any beekeeper that relies on almond pollination to cover much of their
More and more beekeepers do rely on almond pollination over honey
production to make ends meet. The honey business has had its challenges
of late. Honey production in the United States in 2011 was down 16
percent compared to the previous year. Bad weather affected honey crops
in key areas. Cheap foreign honey imports have also had an effect on the
domestic honey market.
“Beekeepers exist to pollinate crops, not to make honey,” according to
another Arizona beekeeper, Rick Smith. “The business model for honey
production just hasn’t worked well since the late 1990s.” Smith is a fifth
generation beekeeper who also knows a lot about growing crops for food
production. He’s a third generation farmer, too. Smith earned a bachelor’s
degree in biology from the University of Arizona, and minored in range
and watershed management.
Yuma’s story took root in the 1980s
by Smith’s father, and is still evolving
today. The Yuma model for agriculture
recognizes two important truths: 1)
pests need to be controlled, and 2) bees
are essential to the local agricultural
community and need to be cared for all
Yuma is the winter lettuce and vegetable
capital of the U.S. Melons, alfalfa, Sudan
grass, cotton, wheat, safflower, corn,
citrus and many vegetable seed crops
are also grown in the area. In addition
to pollinating crops with his bees, Smith
farms cotton and durum wheat. He lives
and farms in an area that is a microcosm
The Yuma area, where Smith farms and runs his bee operation, has many
similarities to the Central Valley’s almond region. Here, where the U.S.
takes advantage of its last opportunity to access Colorado River water
before it proceeds south to the Gulf of California, lies some of the most
intensely farmed land. The Yuma area is a breadbasket for the U.S., just
like the Central Valley.
Thomas M. Smith, Rick’s father, on far
left in this 1946 picture. Yuma beekeeper,
Thomas M. Smith had the largest
beekeeping operation in the world at one
time in the 1960s.
38 Almond Facts MAY | JUNE 2012
of many issues challenging agriculture
today: water, pest and pesticide issues,
worker exposure, endangered species,
urban sprawl, and pollinator habitat and
protection — to name a few.
The biggest threat to Smith’s livelihood
as a beekeeper was bee mortality due
to pesticide exposures. But, being
a farmer, he knew products were
necessary to protect his crops and those
of his neighbors. So he embarked on a
campaign to get farmers and Pest Control
Advisors (PCAs) talking together with
beekeepers about the pests they needed
to control, the products they used and
why those products were the best options.
During these conversations, beekeepers
shared information about bee behavior,
flight patterns and flower visitation habits
for particular crops.
Growers, beekeepers, PCAs and
applicators began to cultivate an
understanding of one another. Keeping
in mind the desire to make the best choice
among registered pesticides for a target
pest, chemical company representatives
were consulted and field trials ensued.
Pesticides with short residuals were
given primary consideration. Next,
timing of pesticide applications was
discussed. Ground and aerial applicators
talked face-to-face with beekeepers
about particular instances where crops
were in bloom, foraging by bees was
underway and colonies were located in
close proximity to the field. Application
of both fungicides and insecticides were
Increased communication between
growers, applicators and beekeepers
sowed seeds of change. Night application
of fungicides and insecticides became
more commonplace. The use of bee
repellant products was sometimes
incorporated in a pesticide application.
These were two solutions that allowed
growers to achieve their need for
pest control while at the same time improving bee safety.
Chemical company representatives assured growers that
night applications of pesticides in many cases were found
to be more effective due to lower temperatures and pest
Improvements occurred. This cooperative approach
allowed growers to get the pest control they needed while
at the same time beekeepers’ losses were reduced. Growers
did not choose a fungicide or insecticide based solely on
cost, while at the same time, beekeepers realized a few
dead bees were acceptable as long as there was no brood or
Now, instead of donning a bee suit and heading to work,
Smith finds he is putting on a business suit more and
more to promote the Yuma Success Story. Every cause
needs a champion and Smith champions bee safety in a
positive way. “Bees need protection, not just during crop
pollination, but 365 days a year,” he aptly states when
talking about his mission. “Statements like ‘You can’t’ and
‘I have a right to …’ have been replaced with ‘Let’s try this’
and ‘We can make this work.’”
What is the take-home lesson of the Yuma Success Story for
almond growers? In prior Almond Facts “Bee Box” columns
we have talked about the importance of good communication
with your beekeepers up to and during almond pollination.
The Yuma example reminds us that we should consider bees
not just during almond pollination, but whenever we need
to apply a pesticide application in our orchards. The Yuma
Success Story incorporates pollinator safety in Integrated
Pest Management programs.
Almond growers have been leaders in environmental
stewardship and in methods of Integrated Pest Management.
Insuring we take that one step further to think about honey
bees year-round, will give us healthier bees during the growing
season and into fall, and thus, a more plentiful and reasonablypriced
bee supply coming through the winter.
The Yuma example isn’t just about farming in “the
sunniest city in the USA,” as Yuma likes to promote itself,
but also give us the brightest hope for year-round honey bee
MAY | JUNE 2012 Almond Facts 39
TIME TO CONSIDER
Time To Consider
ROB KISS, Field Supervisor
All of us were hoping for another super crop this year.
Surprisingly, Mother Nature smiled on us and there
seems to be a fine crop that some feel could “dilute” Navel
Orangeworm (NOW) populations. However, heads-up, she
can still throw us a curve ball.
This year, it looks like the nuts are spread throughout
the tree; however there appears to be a large percentage
of the crop on the tops. We need to remember that any
control needs to be placed where they attack and when
they attack. You just cannot be late. The key is closely
monitoring hull split, probably from the top down. Not just
on the easily reached head-high level.
Some orchardists feel that when you start seeing blanks
opening, true hull split is not far behind and this is probably
not a bad tool. And remember, Peach Twig Borer trap
levels do not indicate NOW pressure. Make sure you are
monitoring and receiving reports specific to
NOW if NOW is your target pest.
Considerations: if you have any
combination of the following, NOW
treatments may be in order.
• History of damage
• Over-wintering mummies
• Poor predator base
• Neighbors with threatening
• Neighboring host crops (Walnuts, Peaches,
• Larger nuts with poor shell seal. Any gap in the
shell exposing the nut meat will give NOW easy
entrance to the kernel
• Extended harvest (late)
Application – it’s always a challenge to pinpoint how
and when to treat. But some growers who struggle with
timing or have had heavier populations, achieved good
success by “bracket” spraying. That is, going every other
row a little early to get flyers, and returning at optimum
timing to get the bulk of the population. However, those
successful bracket applications were not necessarily at half
level treatments per application. Certainly, a well timed,
well applied, complete coverage spray works well, too. If
you have been suffering from higher-than-expected NOW
level, you may need to augment your current approach.
Peach Twig Borer
This is another critter that has continued to be a pest.
While statewide it may not rank up with the NOW, it is
still a dangerous pest if it happens to prefer your orchard.
The problem with this insect is that PTB was pretty well
controlled with dormant sprays. Today, there has been a
great reduction of dormant applications and PTB may not
necessarily be controlled with your hull split spray only.
If it happens to emerge slightly ahead of the NOW, the
timing for dual control could be off target.
The best way to insure control if you suspect PTB damage
is to monitor them with a PTB trap.
Again, PTB traps do not indicate
NOW pressure or
timing. So if your
PCA tells you your
trap levels are
up, make sure you
identify which pest
you are going
after and time
40 Almond Facts MAY | JUNE 2012
Ants? What-a-ya mean ants, we just finished bloom sprays!
Unfortunately, it’s that time again, particularly if you have a
history of ant damage or potential for infestations. So, if you
count back the anticipated time to harvest, it may be closer to
application than you think and, frankly, there is no guarantee
of a secure shell seal.
Thankfully, it’s been a fairly mild spring and
last year it was not excessively hot. This may
have lulled growers into a relatively false
sense of security regarding mites. When it
gets hot, these guys can complete a generation
every week or less, and as many as eight to 15
generations per year! Lucky us. Fortunately,
we have a fairly strong arsenal of miticides to
control them before they decimate and defoliate
the orchard. However, don’t assume you won’t
get them just because populations have been
minimal over the last couple of years.
Any one or combination of the following can
generate serious mite problems.
• Stress and heat is a sure-fire formula
for mites when present
• Insecticides, “unfriendly” to
beneficial (pyrethroids, etc)
• Past history of significant mite problems
• Insufficient predator mite population
• Watch the weather — plan ahead.
If it’s definitely going to get hot,
recognize the potential
• Determine economic thresholds early
— it’s easier to control a smaller,
more juvenile population than an
established full-blown infestation
• Your miticide’s mode of action should
match the problem; each miticide has
certain strengths under certain conditions.
are several very
Esteem is an IGR
that controls brood.
eight weeks before
you anticipate harvest. Clinch may be used a little closer to
harvest, but be sure you are not late. Extinguish, a fairly new
product, has worked and well is recommended for use six to
eight weeks prior to harvest. There is also Lorsban with quick
knock down of populations.
Recently, it seems like the landscape for ant control is changing.
Consequently, consider initial treatments at a more robust
level for improved control if you have 1) heavy pressure; 2) an
environment for ants with other plentiful food sources to feed on,
e.g., weed seeds etc; or 3) sprinkler or micro-irrigations systems.
Some growers have also found it necessary to retreat later when
pressure necessitates with perhaps rotating materials. With the
favorable price of almonds, this may be cheap insurance.
New plantings — if you have a newly planted block on microirrigation
or sprinkler, keep an eye out. Even if the block did not
have a history of ants, when a new block goes in on sprinkler or
drip, ants have a nasty habit of showing up unexpectedly.
Make sure you have identified the right ant. Many growers
complain that they have ants, and they probably do, but there
are several species of ants found in almond orchards throughout
the state. Many growers confuse Pyramid, Carpenter and
common Gray ant with Fire ant. Be sure you key them out
before you treat.
Researchers have, for some time, found hot dogs work well to
attract ants for trapping and identification. Most of the bad guys
(ants) are protein eaters, as opposed to sugar preferring ants found
around the house. Almond eating ants are also extremely fond of
potato chips. So, if you find an ant mound, simply scatter a few
chips. If the chips disappear, so will your almonds.
MAY | JUNE 2012 Almond Facts 41
Old Gas Pumps, Gas Signs, Oil
Signs and Car Signs
Call (559) 485-9496
12-foot flail mower. Have 10-foot
mower to trade. (209) 535-0208.
Enviromist Model # 3044
Environmental Spray Dome
Tow-Type, 16 ft wide, extends to 24
ft, Only used for two seasons, like
new. $6,500 (209) 761-0911
5100 Flory Pickup Machine,
recently serviced by Flory;
2 Supercarts, $12,000.00.
(209) 632-4652 after 6:00 p.m.
Rears 100 gal weed sprayer. 16’ –
24’ boom, like new. $2,900.
Gopher getter, $2,400.
2009 backhoe, has 2 buckets.
2009 D.R. Field and Brush Mower.
400 gal. farm fuel storage tank on
wheels with hand pump, filter and
60 gal. fuel tank on wheels with
hand pump, filter and hose, $300.
120 gal. weed sprayer on wheels
with 7-ft. shielded boom in back
and 6 Teejets, $1000.
The centrifugal pump is driven by
the tractor hydraulic system.
Call (209) 537-9491. Modesto
(1) Johnson 6ft sweeper 2
cylinder , Deutz Engine, updated
(2) Johnson’s pickup machines,
Call (559) 485-9496
Air-O-Fan 500 gallon sprayer.
Ford industrial gas engine.
Good pump, works great. $1,800.
Call Ken, (209) 613-4286.
Amaid Automatic Filter, Ace
Filters 3 in. – 4 in., in-line electric
operation includes electric
automatic flushing system, in line
fertigation hook-up. $950.
(209) 471-2786. Manteca.
42 Almond Facts MAY | JUNE 2012
One new 2 ¼” x 16’ solid tool bar,
best offer; 1997 Weekend Warrior
30’ 5 th wheel toy hauler w/air &
generator, good condition, best
Almond firewood $299.00/cord.
Deerpoint Group, Inc.
Chemical Solutions for Ag Irrigation
DEERPOINT CAN TREAT YOUR...
• Well Water •Reservoir Water •Surface Water
• Hardness and Alkalinity •Iron and Manganese
• Algae •Bacteria
... and prevent the problems they
cause in your drip system
Experienced farmer looking for
almond orchard to lease or custom
farm in the Merced, Atwater,
Livingston or Turlock areas. Call
Alex at (209) 261-9333.
Free listings in this section
are for the exclusive use of
Blue Diamond members.
Call today for a
FREE site evaluation
and water analysis
4339 N. Selland
Fresno, CA 93722
Classified ads for personal use
— not as an additional means of
advertising commercial ventures
members may own. Ads are
limited to a maximum of 10 lines
and may be submitted to Blue
Diamond field supervisors or by
contacting the editor directly at:
Editor: Blue Diamond
P.O. Box 1768,
Sacramento, CA 95812
Or contact Cassandra Keyse at:
Phone: (916) 446-8353
Fax: (916) 325-2880
Unless advised otherwise, ads
will run two consecutive issues.
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classified listings must be submitted
by the 10th of: January, March,
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MAY | JUNE 2012 Almond Facts 43
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