California's 2021 almond production is forecast at 2.80 billion meat pounds, down 13% from May's subjective forecast and 10% lower than last year's record crop of 3.12 billion meat pounds. The forecast is based on 1.33 million bearing acres. Production for the Nonpareil variety is forecast at 1.10 billion meat pounds, 15% percent below last year’s deliveries of 1.30 billion meat pounds. The Nonpareil variety represents 39% of California’s total almond production.
The 2021 almond crop started off with very dry weather in February, providing excellent bloom conditions and plenty of opportunity for pollination. A lack of rainfall continued through the spring and brought about concern for water availability. Due to low water allocations and record high temperatures in June, the crop did not develop as well as expected. Some growers have decided to save their trees by stripping nuts before harvest. Disease and pest pressure were reported to be low.
The average nut set per tree is 4,619, a decrease of 18% compared to 2020. The Nonpareil average nut set of 4,512 is 20% lower than last year. The average kernel weight for all varieties sampled was 1.46 grams, down 3% percent from the 2020 average weight. The Nonpareil average kernel weight was 1.51, down 6% from last year. A total of 99.3% of all nuts sized were sound.