The USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is predicting a record California almond crop for the third straight year. The USDA-NASS 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. Forecast yield is expected to reach 2,380 pounds per acre, 10.2% more than the 2019 yield of 2,160 / 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.”
This July, 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.