“This number is about where buyers had in mind that the crop would be,” said Frank Roque, general manager of Panoche Creek Packing in Kerman, Calif., one of largest independent almond packers in California."We grew our business 13 percent last year and hope to grow it this year.” Don Cameron, general manager of Terra Nova Ranch Inc. at Helm, said that the demand is there "to use every bit of the crop, and the prices to farmers should remain at good levels. This is what the market needs." Michael Kelley, president of the Central California Almond Growers Association, called the almond industry’s growth “a great story of sustainability for the state."
Almond growers are preparing for a harvest that is expected to be earlier than usual, possibly in the first or second week of August. Cooler temperatures in late June helped the nuts to reach proper size and also gave a boost to the hulls, the uses of which include cattle feed. (Read more)