Input Costs Determine Almond Acreage Removal

Taylor Hillman Specialty Crops, Tree, nut & vine crops, Water

More-efficient irrigation technologies -- like this drip system in an almond orchard in Yolo County -- save water, conserve energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
A slight increase in almond acreage removal might continue in some areas of the state with the price for almonds being down to a more normal level.

There was a small increase in almond acres removed last year according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service. Pomology Tree Crop Advisor David Doll says that prices are down to a more normal range and orchard removal will always depend on the bottom line. “Acreage removal will depend on input costs,” Doll says. “Some areas of the valley I think you are going see more plantings because the crop is so profitable where the water is affordable. Where water is a higher price, talking in the $600 plus and maybe $500 plus acre foot range, you are going to probably see less planting and more removal and that’s simply due to it not being profitable to produce a crop.”

Doll says some areas will be more prone to removal than others. “On the east side of the valley where water is a little cheaper you’ll probably see a gradual increase in plantings, probably not as rapid though,” Doll says. “On the west side you may see a maintaining or a decrease in acreage.”