California almond crop forecast up 18%

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California almond crop forecast up 18%

The 2020 California almond crop has been forecast 18% higher year-on-year at 3bn pounds, according to a USDA report.

The California Almond Objective Measurement Report, published today by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) said last year's production was 2.55bn pounds.

“This year’s crop is proof that California is the perfect place to grow almonds,” said Holly A. King, Kern County almond grower and Chair of the Almond Board of California (ABC) Board of Directors.

“Perfect weather during bloom, coupled with the steps almond growers have taken to ensure our orchards provide a healthy environment for honey bees and other pollinators, resulted in the abundant crop we are seeing on the trees up and down the Central Valley.”

Recent disruptions in global trade due to Covid-19, and ongoing trade disputes and negotiations with China and other key markets extending into the year, have caused some short-term challenges with the current crop, but the long-term outlook remains positive.

“As a shelf stable and nutritious food enjoyed by consumers around the world, we’ve weathered these disruptions in pretty good shape,” said Almond Board President and CEO Richard Waycott.

“Domestic and export shipments are up year-to-date, and we expect global demand to be stronger than ever as we market this year’s record crop.”

The average nut set per tree is 5,645, up 21% from the 2019 almond crop. The Nonpareil average nut set is 5,621, up 27% from last year’s set. The average kernel weight for all varieties sampled was 1.51 grams, down 2% from the 2019 average weight.

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