California Almonds, the state’s leading agricultural export, are also an economic powerhouse, adding $11 billion to the state’s economy and providing 104,000 jobs for Californians. At the same time, through Almond Board of California (ABC), almond farmers lead the charge to accelerate research on sustainability topics, such as water management and air quality.
Continual improvements in these areas will enhance sustainability efforts of almond farmers, which will benefit all of California.
During his annual State of the Industry address at The Almond Conference, ABC President and CEO Richard Waycott expanded on the role of almonds in the California economy. In particular, Waycott focused on the partnerships ABC has developed with several universities and organizations in California to better understand how almond orchards can better impact the environment.
“By successfully partnering with these organizations, we’ve found that one plus one equals three, or four or five,” Waycott said in his address. “We have begun to establish these partnerships at levels of cooperation that are remarkable. We strive for the same goals, and that is to effect real and meaningful change.”
One such partnership, with ABC, Sustainable Conservation, UC Davis and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, has explored the potential of using groundwater recharge on California’s 1 million acres of almond orchards.
By overlaying detailed maps of orchards developed by Land IQ, another ABC research partner, it has been determined that 60% of California’s almond orchards lie on ground that is primed for groundwater recharge. Almond farmers in those areas can take steps in their orchards to help improve groundwater levels.
“These collaborative relationships are providing multiple and novel opportunities for progress,” continued Waycott. “We’ll continue to pursue relationships with other organizations for the benefit of almond farmers and the position of the almond industry in California agriculture.”
Waycott addressed almond farmers, processors and others involved in the almond business who came together for the 44th time last week to celebrate the successes and partnerships of the California Almond industry. The Almond Conference, the largest almond-only event in the world, is presented by Almond Board of California, and held in Sacramento every year.
The Almond Conference is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for members of the almond community to connect with each other and learn about the science, the products and the trends at the forefront of the global almond community.