Olam Nuts is one of world's largest growers of almonds with orchards in Australia and the United States. We deliver year-round fresh almonds to customers worldwide. With growing operations in California, US and Victoria, Australia, nearly 10,000 miles away, we are almost always subsequently in harvest and bloom.
Get a glimpse of the day-to-day operations of our agronomists as they navigate bloom in Australia and harvest in the US.
California, United States
August 18, 2021
From the Office: Initial reports of nonpareil harvest are suggesting low yields and poor sizing. Sizes on material run at hullers so far are averaging 30-40 AOS. This is extremely small, but comes as no surprise as typically the early harvest is of water stressed orchards. While things might improve once we get into better irrigated orchards, the fact remains that overall sizing on this year’s Nonpareil is going to be worse than last year. As a result, we are likely to continue to see large premiums for bigger sizes. In addition insects caught in traps are being seen at high levels throughout different orchards. This is only compounding grower quality concerns from this and other issues such as moisture levels. Given the small kernel sizes and higher inshell premiums (nearly 60 cents) we are likely to see more growers/handlers try to maximize their inshell program this year. With these higher premiums in mind and lower kernel supply we can see why growers are holding out to see if kernels can start to close some of this gap with upward price movements.
From the Orchards: Now that we are a few weeks into harvest, we are starting to see field loads come in. Unfortunately, loads are coming in lighter than last season and nut size is smaller as well. With this excessive heat and poor water quality, this season is shaping up to be a challenge. To add insult to injury, pest damage has also been a challenge this season, with trap counts in many parts of the Valley at higher than historical averages. We hope to get the non pareils off the trees quickly so we can move to the more water sensitive varieties, but time and equipment breakdowns will tell. Our only silver lining is the price creeping up as a result of the lower yields.
July 26, 2021
Almond harvest has officially begun in California, with our traditionally water and/or salt stressed orchards up for the first shake. Excessive heat and drought have affected both new vegetative growth and the current year's crop. Water quality has also diminished, making for an interesting growing season.
Nonpareils are coming off clean so far, but more defoliation due to water and salt stress has created more debris in the field. Crop load appears preliminarily to be a bit light compared to last year, but still appreciable. We are hoping for a smooth harvest season and a wet winter. Our almond orchards desperately need both!
September 24, 2021
Good crop set on Carmel cultivar on the left.
Springtime growing conditions so far this season have been favorable, especially considering the absence of major frost events. Carmel and Price cultivars are showing a good crop set across all of Olam’s growing regions. Rainfall has been low, resulting in lower disease pressure.
Nut development has progressed well with the first almonds reaching the end of their Stage 1 growth period by the turn of the month. During Stage 1 the nuts will attain their maximum size. Rapid leaf-out of the trees occurs now and generates a high demand for nutrition. Soil and foliar applied nutrition will continue to be provided through the growing season to maintain the developing crop.
Stage I of nut development which will determine final nut size.
August 18, 2021
Bloom has progressed very quickly on our Australian orchards. The flower emergence progressed rather speedily though 10% flowering, 50% flowering, and on to 80% where we are now with Price and Nonpareil. Petal fall has already commenced.
Price is our earliest cultivar, followed by Nonpareil a day or two behind it. Despite the slower start to flowering, full bloom in 2021 will be achieved a day or two earlier compared to last year.
The shorter but stronger bloom places a higher demand on good spring weather to allow the bees to pollinate the flowers over this short window period. Fortunately sunshine prevailed during the key periods, while daytime maximum temperatures ranged between 14’C and 24’C during in the week of 8-13 August.
Flowering on the Carmel cultivar was a bit more variable across the orchards with full bloom expected around 16th of August, given the sunny and warmer temperatures forecast for the weekend.
July 26, 2021
In Australia, our price and nonpareil almond cultivars are currently developing from the cotton bud stage into the green tip stage. Carmel is slower to develop with bud scales currently starting to separate.
The cool weather we've been having in the region has slowed progress, with full bloom of price and nonpareil almonds expected around August 15 - August 18 of this year.