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California almond crop suffering from the stress of dry winters

On May 12, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released its 2022 almond forecast estimating the California almond crop will be 4% lower than 2021. This means there will be about 100 million fewer pounds produced in the state. That’s despite an 3.7% increase in bearing acreage to a record high of 1.37 million acres.

The price per pound was $1.76 in 2021 down from $4 in 2014. One report said prices are around $1.42 per pound this spring. The 2.80 billion pounds would be 4% lower than last year’s production of 2.92 billion pounds. Forecasted yield is 2,040 pounds per acre, 8% lower than the 2021 yield of 2,210 pounds per acre.

Similar to last year, the 2022 almond crop experienced a mostly dry winter throughout the state. Snowpack and water levels continue to be well below normal. The almond bloom began in early February with favorable weather for pollination. Warm temperatures encouraged a shorter bloom period than has occurred in recent years.

Unfortunately, the North Region had an earlier bloom than the Central and South Regions and was hit hard by a freeze during the last week in February. Frost damage was observed, with reports that some acres would be left unharvested without an adequate nut set. In addition to variability in expected yields across regions, the impact of the freeze appears to differ by variety, as late-blooming varieties were reported to have fared better than the early- blooming varieties.

Source: thesungazette.com


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