California almond harvest expected to dip from 2011
May 3, 2012
• Latest estimate is for 2 Billion pounds
• ‘The 2012 almond crop is shaping up nicely’
This year’s California almond harvest is estimated at 2 billion pounds of shelled nuts, the National Agricultural Statistics Service says Thursday.
That’s about 1.5 percent below last year’s harvest, which set a record at 2.03 billion pounds.
Yield, forecasted at 2,560 lbs/acre, is down 4 percent from 2011’s record of 2,670 lbs/acre.
Forecasted bearing acreage for 2012 is 780,000.
The forecast is based on a telephone survey conducted April 19 - May 1 from a sample of almond growers. Of the 458 growers sampled, 283 reported, the NASS says. Acreage from these reports accounted for 27 percent of the total bearing acreage.
“The 2012 almond crop is shaping up nicely,” the NASS report says. February was warm and dry across the state, creating favorable bloom conditions for almond trees. While the bloom period was shorter than last year, the excellent weather made up for the shorter overlap and bloom load was high. Chilling hours were plentiful.
An early March frost resulted in some spotty damage in the southern San Joaquin Valley and an early April hailstorm affected orchards in Merced County, the report notes.
Weather in the Sacramento Valley has been near ideal.
A heavier than normal drop was reported in the San Joaquin Valley. Low disease and insect pressure were reported.