Almond Board of California President and CEO Richard Waycott went into detail about the state of the industry presentation at this year’s Almond Conference. The industry is seeing growth among challenging times, and Waycott said focusing on the almond orchard of the future is spurring innovation and fueling that gain.
“I like to use the term the gentleman from the Environmental Defense Fund used, which is where we are staged as an industry is a transformative time,” Waycott said. “I think as we continue to embark into this sort of new agricultural reality in California, it’s just broadening so widely the opportunities and the different paths of technology, research and so on that our industry can affect.”
Several nurseries exhibit at the Almond Conference, and Waycott said many of them told him they were sold out. “So it looks like we will continue to increase our plantings, and obviously we have a lot of non-bearing acreage that will become bearing, representing about a 25 percent increase in production overall over the next three or four years,” he said.
Waycott said a new focus for the Almond Board of California (ABC) has helped it develop ideas and research that fuel growth. He said ABC leaders spent a lot of time contemplating what the almond orchard of the future might look like. “That is sort of captured in the overall umbrella of everything we are doing, which is accelerated innovation management,” Waycott said. “We picked that name very carefully, and that’s the spirit. We are just moving ahead as quickly, as prudently but expeditiously as we can on many different fronts to create that almond orchard of the future and secure our sustainability as an industry.”