New almond variety rivals popular nonpareil

11/15/2012 12:54:00 PM
Vicky Boyd

Vicky BoydBurchell Nursery field representatives Gerry Hunter (left) and Manny Sousa show off kernels of the new Supareil variety.Oakdale, Calif.-based Burchell Nursery Inc. has released the Supareil almond variety, which looks similar to nonpareil—the most widely planted almond in California.

The new variety also has the benefits of a well-sealed shell to reduce navel orangeworm damage and being able to be used as a pollinizer for nonpareil, says Manny Sousa, field representative.

"What we're looking at is the potential of being able to get paid on your whole field at nonpareil pricing," he says.

Sousa was referring to the higher prices that the nonpareil variety brings over pollinizer varieties, such as Butte, Carmel, Padre and Fritz.

Since the new variety has a very similar appearance, size and taste as nonpareils, he says Supareil should also net growers the same premium prices.

Almonds require at least one other variety as a pollinizer to produce marketable yields.

Many growers plant two pollinizer varieties, one that blooms slightly before nonpareil and one slightly afterwards.

That way they help mitigate any weather-induced delays that might affect bloom timing.

Supareil blooms slightly ahead of nonpareil, Sousa said.

Adding in a later variety, such as Fritz or Wood Colony, to a Supareil/nonpareil orchard would help ensure pollen overlap, he said.

Supareil harvests about 10 days to two weeks after nonpareil, Sousa says, citing about 15 years of experience with the variety.

In the case of an orchard with Supareil, nonpareil and a later variety, field representative Gerry Hunter said growers would harvest the nonpareils first, then return for the Supareil and the later variety together a few weeks later.

Growers would thereby reduce their harvests to two from three.

Supareil also has thicker shell and tighter seal than nonpareil, reducing the potential for navel orangeworms to make their way into the kernel.

The shell itself looks similar to nonpareil, so Supareil could be comingled for in-shell sales, Sousa says.



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