2009 Top Nut Growers

Welcome to the 2009 edition of American/Western Fruit Grower’s Top Nut Growers report. Each year we survey California’s largest almond, walnut, and pistachio growing operations for inclusion on this prestigious list. The list is ranked according to 2008 acreage that is owned or leased by one company that is responsible for maintaining it.

Along with 2008 acreage figures, the list also includes changes in acres from the previous year. In 2008, there was a net increase of 3,405 acres for all of the companies that comprise the Top Nut Growers list. Farmland Management Services (#2 on the list) in Turlock and Farmers International (#14) in Chico saw the largest individual gains in acreage.

Water Management

With the drought in California, water use efficiency is a more important issue than ever — especially for those growers who farm on thousands of acres. We asked some of the growers on this year’s list what they are doing to improve water use efficiency.

“We always watch our soil moisture with Irrometers and watch evapotranspiration data as well,” says Mohnish Seth of Farmers International, which grows almonds. “This year we are also investing in new technology from the company PureSense, who is going to install soil probes based on the soil profiles in our orchards. We are hoping with a more accurate monitoring system, we should be able to apply water effectively and in the area where we need it most.

“In our newer development, we are also opting for more water efficient irrigation systems like microsprinklers and drip irrigation systems.”

Kevin Herman of The Specialty Crop Company, an almond and pistachio grower in Madera, says most of their water is derived from irrigation wells. “Normally, we test our wells once a year to determine the flow rate, pumping efficiency, and water depth. But due to the increased pumping by many of our neighbors and the associated extra demand placed on groundwater, we are now testing many of our wells two or three times per year. We have found that by being proactive in the ‘health’ of our wells, we can both keep our energy costs down and also better schedule our irrigations to match the trees’ need with our pumping capacity.”

 

 

Top Nut Growers

Rank
Company Name
Year Founded
Nut Acreage
Crops Grown
Total Acreage
2008 Rank (Acreage Change)
1
Paramount Farming
1986 
  70,000 Almonds, Pistachios, Citrus   90,000   1 (-2,000)
2
Farmland Management Services
1986 
  21,337 Almonds, Walnuts, Pistachios, Winegrapes, Apples, Pears, Prunes, Cherries   30,073   2 (+1,321)
3
Braden Farms
1959 
  13,954
Almonds, Walnuts, Winegrapes
  15,270   3 (+950)
4
South Valley Farms
1985 
10,993*
Almonds, Pistachios   10,993   4 (n/c)
5
Agriland Farming
1990 
10,494
Almonds, Walnuts, Pistachios, Grapes, Figs, Prunes, Pomegranates
  12,928 
  5 (+467)
6
Premiere Entities c/o Westchester Group
1986 
  8,929
Almonds, Pistachios, Winegrapes, Cherries, Apples
  12,705   6 (-174)
7
Deseret Farms
1960 
8,324*
Almonds, Walnuts, Prunes   9,938   7 (n/c)
8
Cummings-Violich Inc.
1989 
  7,465
Almonds, Walnuts
  7,465 
  8 (-162)
9
Woolf Enterprises
1974 
  7,212
Almonds, Walnuts, Pistachios, Winegrapes
  8,412   9 (-258)
10
Eastside Management/ Montpelier Nut Co.
1985
 6,200 Almonds
  6,200 
 11 (+251)
11
Russell Harris Farms  1988 5,662 Almonds, Pistachios, Winegrapes
  6,413 
 17 (+1,200)
12
Meyers Farming 1970 5,600 Almonds
  5,600 
 12 (+100)
13
LCP Services-Kooyman 2003 5,509 Almonds
  5,509 
  — (n/a)
14
Farmers International 2001 5,500 Almonds
  5,500 
 22 (+2,800)
15
Lassen Land Co. 1970 5,477 Almonds, Walnuts
  5,477
13 (n/c)
16
Baker Farming 1993 5,211
Almonds, Pistachios, Winegrapes, Pomegranates
  7,495
 14 (n/c)
17
Campos Brothers Farms
1955
5,000* Almonds
  5,000
15 (n/c)
17
S & J Ranch
 1950
5,000* Almonds, Pistachios
  5,000 
15 (n/c)
19
Lent-Burden Farming, Inc.
 1993
3,872 Almonds, Walnuts, Winegrapes
  6,232
18 (-291)
20
Thiara Brothers Orchards 1964 3,550* Almonds
  3,550
19 (n/c)
21
Greenleaf Farms
1972
2,931 Almonds, Walnuts
  2,931
21 (+131)
22
The Specialty Crop Company 1989 2,927 Almonds, Pistachios, Figs, Pomegranates   7,752 20 (-490)
23
Rosedale Farms 2002 2,531 Almonds   2,531 23 (n/c)
24
Roy A. Johnson Farms 1961 2,400 Almonds   2,400 24 (n/c)
25
S & F Farms
1979
1,930 Almonds, Walnuts   1,930 25 (-440)
*estimated acreage       n/c = no change

 

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4 comments on “2009 Top Nut Growers

  1. As far as the “top nut growers” is concerned, Thiara Bros. Orchards does not farm 3,550 acres. They did when the brothers were together in a partnership. Since then, they have dissolved the partnership and operate individually. The magazine editor should take their name down.

  2. As far as the “top nut growers” is concerned, Thiara Bros. Orchards does not farm 3,550 acres. They did when the brothers were together in a partnership. Since then, they have dissolved the partnership and operate individually. The magazine editor should take their name down.

  3. Hello I am interested in the price of California almonds 18/20 with the volume of 1-container per month. What documents do you provide?

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