For the first time, the Almond Board of California is concurrently releasing two California almond industry acreage reports: USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service 2019 California Almond Acreage Report and Land IQ’s 2020 Standing Acreage Initial Estimate. These reports are being issued side by side to improve industry reporting methods and provide a fuller picture of California’s almond acreage.
USDA-NASS reports a continued increase in California’s almond acreage in 2019. Bearing acres, or orchards that have matured enough to produce a crop, are estimated at 1.18 million acres, up 8 percent from 2018. Total almond acreage, including non-bearing trees, is estimated at 1.53 million, up 10 percent from the previous year. Nonpareil continued to be the leading variety, followed by Monterey, Butte, Carmel, and Padre.
Land IQ’s initial estimate for total bearing acreage in 2020, which reflects standing acreage that will be productive during the 2020/2021 harvest, is 1,251,137 acres. This estimate takes into account both young orchards coming into production and orchards removed or estimated to be removed.
As almond acreage continues to increase in California, growers remain committed to continuous improvement, finding ways to responsibly produce more almonds to meet global and domestic demand and continuing to advance toward achieving the Almond Orchard 2025 Goals.
“Having the best acreage statistics possible allows the industry and ABC to plan for future production,” said Richard Waycott, president and CEO of the Almond Board. “USDA-NASS’s annual acreage report is the first of three annual reports, including the Subjective Estimate released in May and Objective Report in July, commissioned by the Almond Board to provide statistical transparency to industry stakeholders around the world.”
This year, Land IQ’s spatial analysis shows that between September 1, 2019, and April 1, 2020, 29,817 acres were removed and estimates that an additional 9,000 acres will be removed from April 1 to August 31, 2020, for a total estimate of 38,817 acres removed.
Starting in 2020, Land IQ will annually provide its initial estimate to USDA-NASS to fine-tune the official California Almond Acreage Report and other forecasts. The USDA-NASS reports and estimates remain the official Almond Board statistics provided for the California almond industry.
On Tuesday, May 12, 2020, USDA-NASS will release the 2020 Subjective Estimate, which provides an initial forecast of the upcoming crop. Data for the Subjective Estimate is based on opinions obtained from almond growers in a survey sent by USDA-NASS. Almond growers will soon receive the USDA-NASS survey and are encouraged to participate. On Tuesday, July 7, 2020, USDA-NASS will release the 2020 Objective Report. This report collects data later in the growing season, closer to harvest, and is based on an actual count of nuts on the trees.