Almonds have been grown almost exclusively in California's Central Valley, but rising temperatures, increasing drought and a scarcity of water in California, might enable Idaho growers to create a suitable place to grow almonds.
Virtually all almonds in the US are produced in a 20,000 mile2 area in the middle of California. However, nearly all of the Central Valley, where almonds are grown in California, is currently experiencing an exceptional drought.
Temperatures rarely dip below freezing and historic rain levels have created rich soil, providing an environment suitable for almond growth. But as the climate warms, the trees will need more water. Drought conditions in the state could threaten the expansion of almond production.
Some researchers are starting to look at whether Idaho could become a hub for almonds. University of Idaho researchers are finding commercial production could thrive here.
Boisestatepublicradio.org quoted Alejandro Flores, an associate professor in the Department of Geology at Boise State University as saying: “For some things like almonds, the near current and near future climate changes are making it such that it’s more viable to grow those crops in Idaho.”