According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), the 2018 almond crop will be record-breaking at 2.45 billion meat pounds. Reports state the crop looks a lot like last years with an extra 70,000 bearing acres.
From the NASS:
California’s 2018 almond production is forecast at 2.45 billion meat pounds, up 6.5 percent from May’s subjective forecast and up 7.9 percent from last year’s crop. The forecast is based on 1.07 million bearing acres. Production for the Nonpareil variety is forecast at 910 million meat pounds, down .8 percent from last year’s deliveries. The Nonpareil variety represents 37 percent of California’s total almond production.
The 2018 California almond bloom began a few days earlier than normal. The bloom period was extended, due to cold temperatures, and lasted a few weeks. Frosts during bloom hit orchards hard, especially on the east side of the valley. Younger trees were impacted more severely than older trees. Weather during the spring was variable, leading many growers to be unsure about their 2018 crop. As temperatures warmed up in May, nuts were sizing well. Hull split sprays have just begun, and are expected to pick up soon. Mites have not been reported as an issue so far this year. Report of disease pressure in almonds also remains light.
The average nut set per tree is 5,677, down .6 percent from 2017. The Nonpareil average nut set of 4,924 is down 13.9 percent from last year’s set of 5,717. The average kernel weight for all varieties sampled was 1.54 grams, down 1.9 percent from the 2017 average weight of 1.57 grams. The Nonpareil average kernel weight was 1.70, unchanged from last year. A total of 98.8 percent of all nuts sized were sound. View the full report.