Bennett-Hickman variety is increasing in popularity
Duarte Nursery, Inc. exclusively introduced this variety developed by almond farmer/breeder Jim Bennett. It originates from a chance seedling that occurred at the Bennett ranch over 20 years ago.
The pollen is compatible with Nonpareil, Monterey, and most other commercial almond varieties. It is from the same pollen class as Wood Colony, which is not compatible with BH. It’s reported as 100% compatible with Monterey, Butte, Sonora, Fritz, Padre, Winters and 50% compatible with Nonpareil, Independence, Aldrich, Price, Carmel as well as Carmel, Livingston and Neplus.
About 85-90% of BH orders were for 50/50 plantings. This is not a self pollinator. Duarte Nursery Inc. suggests a 50/50 planting with Nonpareil as the most profitable almond planting possible.
Identical spacing to Nonpareil is recommended. It is a full stature tree, not quite as tall as Nonpareil but appears to us to be very similar. It harvests 14 days after Nonpareil. We hear reports of a a very good release (clean shake). We know of a few growers who had multiple harvests of Bennett-Hickman, and report strong yields and consistently out-yielding Nonpareil in the same blocks. During this 2019 crop year, the Bennett-Hickman crop looked light in the center state orchards we visited (where Nonpareil also generally appeared light), though the crop looked better in Tulare County where weather was more favorable (some pics below) Most fields are still very young and there is not extensive yield history as we have for traditional varieties. Bennett-Hickman sales have surpassed 1 million trees.
Below comparison shows Bennett-Hickman and Nonpareil
Feel free to contact us for further discussions on varieties.