The initial subjective forecast for the 2016 California almond production is 2.0 billion pounds. Forecasted production is 5.8 percent above last year’s production of 1.89 billion pounds. Forecasted bearing acreage for 2016 is 900,000. Forecasted yield at 2,220 lbs/acre, is up 4.7 percent from the 2015 yield of 2,120 lbs/acre. The subjective production forecast is based on a telephone survey conducted from April 14 to May 5 from a sample of almond growers. Acreage from these reports accounted for 27 percent of the total bearing acreage.
The California almond bloom began in mid-February, a slightly later start than last year. The 2016 bloom was short and fairly uniform, with overall good weather conditions. Some growers reported concerns about sufficient cross pollination. After bloom, heavy winds accelerated nut drop. There were reports of limb breakage in younger trees with heavy sets. This year, water seems to be less of a concern for growers than last year, although California is still in a drought.
Results of the subjective survey are based on opinions obtained from growers. The sample of growers changes from year to year and is grouped by size of operation, so all growers will be represented. Growers are asked to indicate their almond yield per acre from last year and expected yield for the current year.
Read the full USDA California Almond Forecast (.pdf)