For the third straight year, USDA is forecasting a big increase in California almond production. The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service 2020 California Almond Subjective Forecast estimates California almond orchards will produce 3 billion pounds of nuts this year, up 17.6% from last year’s 2.55 billion-pound crop. Forecasted yield is expected to reach 2,380 pounds per acre, 10.2% greater than the 2019 yield of 2,160 per acre.

This forecast comes about three weeks after USDA-NASS released the 2019 California Almond Acreage Report, which estimated total almond acreage for 2019 up 10% from 2018 at 1.53 million acres. Bearing acres — orchards mature enough to produce a crop — were reported at 1.18 million acres, up 8% from the previous year. USDA-NASS also estimated preliminary bearing acreage for 2020 at 1.26 million acres.

“Almond acreage and production continue to increase as California almond growers further invest in precision agriculture and responsible best practices,” said Almond Board of California (ABC) President and CEO Richard Waycott. “Through the industry’s advancements in water use efficiency to environmentally friendly pest management, zero waste efforts in the orchard and beyond, almond growers are committed to achieving our Almond Orchard 2025 Goals and the realization of the California almond orchard of the future.”

The Subjective Forecast is the first of two production reports for 2020 and is based on opinions obtained from randomly selected almond growers located throughout the state via a phone survey (conducted from April 20 to May 6). On July 7, USDA-NASS will release its second production estimate, the 2020 California Almond Objective Report. While the Subjective Forecast provides an initial estimate of the 2020/2021 crop, the Objective Report will provide an estimate based on actual almond counts that uses a more statistically rigorous methodology to determine yield. in providing the information necessary to create these reports.

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