California walnut production up

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California walnut production up

California walnut production is forecast at 790,000 tons for 2023, up 5% from 2022’s 752,000 tons. This is based on a 385,000 acre production area, with acreage decreasing 4% from 400,000 in 2022, according to the latest USDA report.

The uptick is mostly due to favorable weather conditions. Cold winter temperatures ensured sufficient chill hours for walnut trees. A wet winter and spring helped retain soil moisture in walnut orchards across the state.

The percentage of sound in-shell kernels was 99.2% statewide. Average in-shell weight and dimensions for 2023 were: 21.5 grams, 32.7 millimeters suture, 33.3 width, and average length was 39.1 millimeters.

Related articles: Positive outlook for 2023 brings relief to California walnut growers

Despite high input costs for producers, sales in the U.S. have grown by 28%, which has made it possible to overcome the high inventory at the beginning of the season.

The 2023 walnut objective measurement survey used a total of 675 blocks with two sample trees per block. The survey data indicated an average of 1,004 nuts per tree, up 2% from 981 in 2022.

“The California walnut industry has increased its focus on providing handlers and growers the most accurate crop information by accelerating the collection of various data points,” CEO and Executive Director for the California Walnut Commission (CWC) and Board (CWB) Robert Verloop told Pacific Nut Producer.

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