Every crop presents its own set of challenges, and the 2017 crop was no different. Wet conditions at bloom and reject levels not seen in many years typified the 2017 crop. But our growers and those of us at Blue Diamond tackled the challenges, and together have produced a very successful year. This success is reflected in the final value of the 2017 crop. The value of pollinators continues to rise as more product is used in manufacturing and consumer goods.
Over the past few months, both the headlines and growers’ attention have been focused on trade issues. The tariffs and subsequent uncertainty have resulted in market price reductions. Your Blue Diamond team has been very active in the discussions, ensuring that the federal government is fully aware of the almond industry’s value to the U.S. economy. I want to personally thank each and every one of our growers for heeding the call and contacting the USDA and the White House on this important issue. Know that they have had an important impact on the discussion and are on the minds of our federal representatives and the USDA officials. The recently approved almond market facilitation payment of $.03 a pound is appreciated and a positive outcome that reflects on our collective efforts for almond industry recognition.
The 2018 crop is coming in now. At this point, we can say that rejects are running at lower levels than last year. As expected, crop yields are varying dramatically as a result of the freeze at bloom. Knowledge of the final volume of the 2018 crop is months away. However, production of the Nonpareil appears to be falling short of expectations.
I look forward to celebrating our accomplishments at the annual Blue Diamond Growers meeting on November 14 at the Modesto Centre Plaza and share with our grower-owners why the best is yet to come!