California’s 2015 almond acreage is estimated at 1,110,000 acres, up 6 percent from the 2014 revised acreage of 1,050,000. Of the total acreage for 2015, 890,000 acres were bearing and 220,000 acres were non-bearing. Preliminary bearing acreage for 2016 was estimated at 900,000 acres.
The detailed data from the report, which is based on a voluntary survey, showed a higher than average acre removal number of 45,000 acres. Pomology Farm Advisor David Doll says 30,000 acres to 35,000 acres is about average for a year. Doll says the slightly higher number is due to a couple of different factors. Some growers have been holding on to orchards a little longer than normal to capitalize on the previous high prices for almonds. Prices have dropped significantly however, and producers are taking those trees out of production.
Doll says the other factor is water scarcity and price. Lower prices for almonds mean less profit margin with the high price of water, and many areas of the Central Valley are predicted to have little water again for another season, even after the El Nino winter.