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Crop Readiness Operations Packet: What’s New for 2020

Crop Readiness Operations Packet: What’s New for 2020


(May 12, 2020) – Handlers, wouldn’t it be nice if each crop year, before harvest, you received information on how to comply with regulatory requirements around incoming inspections? For some of you the process is familiar, practically mundane. But for new handlers whose 2020 harvest will be their first time processing a crop, this information is vital to ensure the proper steps are taken to achieve compliance.

JK Moisture Monitoring
Before each crop year, handlers must ensure each of their moisture measurement units are calibrated to the manufacturer’s specifications.

Enter Bryce Spycher, the Almond Board’s manager of Marketing Order Services.

For the past four years, Spycher has sent handlers a Crop Readiness Operations Packet (CROP). The packet’s main purpose is to inform handlers of what they need to do to prepare for the incoming inspection process. Key resources in the packet include a Pre-Harvest Checklist, information regarding moisture meter calibrations, a copy of the Almond Sampling Verification Program (ASVP) Manual and the current ASVP Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

While the packet is most useful for new handlers who will experience their first harvest this upcoming season, the resource sees changes and additions each year – and 2020 is no different.

Next month, Spycher will include a link to this packet in ABC’s weekly eNewsletter, the Weekly Handler.[1] Whether you’re a new handler or have been in the business for 30+ years, we encourage you to read through the packet carefully to ensure you’re complying with all state and federal law prior to the 2020 harvest.

Here’s a preview of what will be included in this year’s CROP:

  • Pre-Harvest Checklist: This checklist has two sections, one on moisture calibration and the other on the Almond Sampling Verification Program (ASVP). Spycher encourages handlers to print this list and check each box as they complete the necessary steps before harvest begins. In regards to moisture calibration, those steps include first identifying which measurement device/s will be used for incoming inspection purposes and then locating a provider who may conduct the required annual calibration of your equipment.
  • Moisture Measurement Calibrations for 2020/21 Crop Year: Before each crop year, handlers must ensure each of their moisture measurement units are calibrated to the manufacturer’s specifications. This means each handler will send their device/s to a verified calibration company, who after calibrating the equipment will provide the handler with a certificate of calibration referencing the serial number of the device, a copy of which must be sent to your local Shipping Point Inspection (SPI) district office. This CROP section outlines specifics around the calibration process in addition to providing a list of verified calibration companies.
    • To note: Handlers must ensure their device/s are calibrated and their certificate/s are sent to a local SPI office no sooner than 60 days prior to the devices’ first use for incoming inspection purposes, likely sometime between June 1 and August 1. “Calibrations can take a few weeks to complete, especially if you’re sending your equipment to a company out of state, and each company has their own process. Be sure to plan ahead and get your devices shipped out in a timely manner to avoid any processing delays,” Spycher advised.
  • Almond Sampling Verification Program (ASVP) Proctor Training: This section includes detailed information – including a copy of the entire ASVP manual – on this program which applies to all incoming samples that are drawn without USDA/SPI staff onsite. All handler or huller/sheller staff who conduct this type of sampling as part of the incoming process must be trained as ASVP designees. This year, like years prior, all ASVP proctor training will be offered online.
    • To note: Handler or huller/sheller staff trained as ASVP proctors for the 2019/20 crop year must complete training again if they wish to be an ASVP proctor for the 2020/21 crop year.
  • ASVP Memorandum of Understanding: Each handler and huller/sheller who plans to participate in ASVP must submit a signed 2020/21 ASVP Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to their local SPI district office prior to receiving online credentials for access to the ASVP proctor training course. The 2020/21 ASVP MOU will be included in this year’s CROP.
    • To note: This step of the incoming process has been forgotten in the past, so if you plan to participate in ASVP please ensure you complete this paperwork in a timely fashion to ensure you’re in compliance for the 2020/21 crop year.
  • Contact Information for Shipping Point Inspection (SPI) Offices: On the final page of the packet, handlers and hullers/shellers will find an updated SPI contact list, which include the email and phone number of the main contact person at each SPI office.

Please keep an eye out for the 2020/21 CROP in a June issue of ABC’s Weekly Handler. Handlers and hullers/shellers are also encouraged to contact Spycher at or (209) 343-3221 with any questions about this year’s incoming inspection process.


[1] If you’re an approved handler who is not currently receiving the Weekly Handler, please email to request to be added to our mailing list.