Selecting varieties is not an easy task, as there is no such thing as a perfect one, but a choice growers must live with for a long time. At the 2009 Almond Conference, a panel reviewed variety development, evaluation and selection balancing both field and market considerations. The panel included Tom Gradziel (UC Davis almond breeder), Joe Connell (UC Farm Advisor, Butte County), Bruce Lampinen (UC Pomology Extension specialist), Ned Ryan (past Almond Board Chair and almond industry consultant), and Roger Duncan (UC Farm Advisor, Stanislaus County). To view this presentation please click here.
Based on this panel presentation, a three-part series of articles in Western Farm Press featuring the “checklist” of issues to consider is being published. Click here to view the first of these titled "Selecting varieties a complicated task for almond growers"; click here to view the second part of the series, "Almond checklist: bloom, pollination and harvest timing"; click here to view the third in the series "Almond checklist key to choosing varieties". Much of the field performance information has come from the almond Regional Variety Trials conducted over the years and has been summarized by the presenters.
Two key sources of information come from the Regional Variety Trials planted in 1993 and evaluated until 2006 and the current Kern-McFarland Variety Trial planted in 2004. Resources for the 1993-2006 Variety Trials include: "2006 Progress Report of the Regional Almond Variety Trials Planted in 1993". Click here and previous years progress reports are at the UC Fruit and Nut Research & Information Center (click here).
The most current information and data for the ongoing Kern-McFarland Variety Trial includes: 1) Poster from the 2010 Almond Industry Conference, 2) 2010 Annual Report, 3) 2009 Annual Report, and 4) 2008 Annual Report.
To view a chart on the top ten almond varieties in 2010, please click here; to view a comparision of 2000 vs. 2010 top almond varieties click here. Current market classifications can be found at here.
To view a five-year (2006-2010) recap ranking of the top varieties and Winters, click here.