View the PDF (24mb) - Blue Diamond Growers

View the PDF (24mb) - Blue Diamond Growers

MAY | JUNE 2012

News, Views & Industry Insights

Breaking New

Ground In Turlock

Industry Blog

Offers “Insights”

Freshman Fieldman

Working Full Speed Ahead

Count on DuPont for insect control

that works as smart as you do

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The DuPont Oval Logo, DuPont , The miracles of science , Altacor ® and Rynaxypyr ® are

trademarks or registered trademarks of DuPont or its affiliates.

Copyright © 2009-2012 E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company. All Rights Reserved. SPEWE025612P446AVAR1

CONTENTS May | June 2012



12 Fieldman

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.

30 Groundbreaking

Blue Diamond kicked off its largest

capital investment in over 40 years

with a groundbreaking at the new

Turlock Plant site.







Cover Picture:

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


Since 1938

A California Corporation

Folsom almond

the” Nonpareil partner

• Blooms & harvests

with Nonpareil

• Moderately vigorous tree

• Produces a soft shell

• Medium to large kernel

(U.S. Plant Patent #19555)

Board of Directors

Clinton Shick

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


Independence almond

self-fertile almond

• 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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Always read and follow label directions. AD11-Onager_Pacific_Nut


President’s Corner

Mark Jansen

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



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


Dave Baker

Director, Member Relations

209.545.6222 Salida

209.541.9148 Cell

Dennis Meinberg

Tehama, Butte and

Eastern Glenn

530.864.0619 Cell

530.674.4724 Home

Bob Ketcher

Receiving Coordinator, Member

Relations,Westside Stanislaus

and Merced Counties

209.761.2289 Cell

209.545.6218 Salida

209.742.2089 Home

Ryan Christy

Western Glenn, Colusa, Yolo,

Solano, Yuba and Sutter Counties

530.518.9109 Cell

530.458.2669 Home

Mel Machado

Special Projects Coordinator

Northern Stanislaus and San Joaquin

209.531.6352 Cell

209.545.6221 Salida

209.522.4064 Home

Mike Griffin

Northern Fresno and

Southern Madera Counties

559.779.6400 Cell

559.449.9751 Home

Ernie Reichmuth

Northern Madera and

Southern Merced Counties

559.474.2996 Cell

559.645.4708 Home

Gerry Guthrie

Kern and Southern

Tulare Counties

661.203.7680 Cell

661.588.8961 Home

Rob Kiss

South Stanislaus and Merced

County North of Merced River

209.531.4112 Cell

209.668.7708 Home

Steve Rothenberg

Fresno, Kings and

Northern Tulare Counties

559.269.6809 Cell

559.561.4508 Home

Other Inquiries

Salida Membership Department | P 209.545.6225 F 209.545.6215

Sacramento Membership Department | P 916.446.8368

8 Almond Facts MAY | JUNE 2012

John Deere

Specialty Tractors:

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.


District 1

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 !

District 5

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

District 2

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

6 7

District 3

Paul Voortman (209) 838-7064

Kathy Thomsen (209) 914-2580

Joe Rishwain (209) 477-5841

Dale Van





Ex-Officio *



Director **



Almond Board


(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






District 4

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

District 6

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

Dirk Van


(209) 648-6578 C

John Miller (209) 531-3822

District 7

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

District 8

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

District 9

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

The Prepperjack

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

product placement

• High capacity stick bin with left

or right belt discharge for fast unloading

• Conditioning if untimely

weather prevails

• Irrigate sooner

Before conditioning

After conditioning

471 Industrial Ave. ∙ Ripon, CA 95366 209.599.6118 ∙

Almond Facts Sits

Down With Blue

Diamond’s Newest

Field Supervisor

Almond Facts (AF): Ryan, tell our readers a little

about your background.


Ryan Christy...

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

grower-owned cooperative!

CALL 209.545.6225

MAY | JUNE 2012 Almond Facts 13





to Soar


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

bluediamondalmonds and

Board Game

Features Blue

Diamond Trivia

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

Ag Co-ops

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

development capabilities.


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.




















































is a












is a




of a

































CEO Provides



in Monthly


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

Chemist/Agronomist has

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:

Jim Tanioka

(209) 769-5627

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


Take Me Out

to the Ball Game!

Blue Diamond Smokehouse Almonds make the Major League line-up

Baseball fans across

the country are

eagerly cheering

on their home

teams now that

the 2012 season

of America’s past

time is underway.

To engage with

these captive

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


stands at


Great American

Ball Park were treated

with Blue Diamond

Smokehouse Almonds in

their meal.

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

prominently featured

Smokehouse Almonds for

the duration of the

partnership, flashing

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!”

Seasonal Flavors

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.

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With Blue Diamond, the

World is Your Almond

Adding Value Through Expertise and Partnership


“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

American customers

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,”

he explained.

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.”

Traditional Almond

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.”

Mature Japanese

Market Enjoys Almond

Health Benefits

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

Japanese market.

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.

China and

South East

Asia Continue

to Grow

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

sales manager.

“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


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.”

Enhancing Relationships

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

food companies.

“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

‘almond solutions.’”

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!

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

League Baseball.

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

for agriculture.”

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!

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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

work force.

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

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

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Inspire Super ® fungicide stands out above all others. By

combining a best-in-class triazole with a second highly

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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.

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Breaking Ground

in turlock

“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

ceremonial shovels.

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

Congressman Jeff

Denham, whose district

represents parts of

Fresno, Madera,

Mariposa, Tuolumne

and Stanislaus Counties,

said he was “proud to

be part of this industry

and proud to be a Blue

Diamond grower.”

“When I became

mayor, I prayed

for a game changer

and He gave us

Blue Diamond,”

said Turlock

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.

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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

Groundbreaking Ceremony.

MAY | JUNE 2012 Almond Facts 33



Council of California


Cap & Trade

Revenues Create

Cash Cow

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

broken state.

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

these funds?

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



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 to learn more.

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MAY | JUNE 2012 Almond Facts 35



Annual Golf Tournament

Successful Thanks to

Sponsors and Donors


Bayer CropScience


– GEM –RELY280 –


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

– 209.667.2366

V-V Enterprises – Dave

Van Vliet, Ripon, CA –


American AgCredit –

Audrey Lopes-Dermond, Turlock

– 209.667.5101

International Paper Co.

– Jay Jordan, Elk Grove, CA –


Oakdale Trading

Company – Jim Parola,

Twain Harte, CA –



Ken Stewart - 559.779.9009

Joe Martinez - 530.673.2822

Yuba City, CA

Alexander Trucking –

Craig Alexander, Earlimart, CA

– 661.849.2615

Button Transportation

– 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

– 209.557.4640

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 –


Aqua Measure

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

Salida Hulling

Association – Tony Plaza

Paramount Hulling/

Shelling – Tom Schwartz

Country Ford Trucks –

Charlie Fernandes

Minturn Hulling Coop –

Jeff Hamilton

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

California Industrial

Rubber Co.

36 Almond Facts MAY | JUNE 2012

MAY | JUNE 2012 Almond Facts 37

The Bee Box



» Grower and 5th

generation beekeeper, Rick

Smith, champions bee

health year-round.

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?


“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

operating costs.

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

year long.

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

queen loss.

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

ROB KISS, Field Supervisor

Pest Review

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

NOW populations

• Neighboring host crops (Walnuts, Peaches,

Oranges, etc)

• 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

the application


40 Almond Facts MAY | JUNE 2012

Got Mites?


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

• Hot-spots

• 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.

Fortunately, there

are several very

effective products.

Esteem is an IGR

that controls brood.

Consider first

application some

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


Gasoline Memorabilia:

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

Orcharch Special

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.


(209) 358-9115


400 gal. farm fuel storage tank on

wheels with hand pump, filter and

hose, $900.

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

transmission. $5,300

(2) Johnson’s pickup machines,

$5,500 each

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.

(707) 678-2698.

Deerpoint Group, Inc.

Chemical Solutions for Ag Irrigation


• 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.

In order to guarantee placement,

classified listings must be submitted

by the 10th of: January, March,

May, July, September & November.

MAY | JUNE 2012 Almond Facts 43



Sacramento, CA 95811







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