California walnut production is expected to decline by about 15 percent this year, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Walnut production is forecast at 670,000 tons, down from 785,000 tons that were produced in 2020’s record crop. While production is expected to come down, estimated bearing acreage saw a slight increase over 2020 – with a forecast of 385,000 bearing acres.
Instances of widespread freezing temperatures in Fall of last year created significant issues for growers. The ongoing drought also created an array of challenges for walnut production. Survey data from the 2021 California Walnut Objective Measurement Report indicated an average nut set per tree of 992 which is a decline of 17 percent from last year’s average. Although projections are down from 2020, this year’s walnut crop is still expected to be the third-largest of the past five years.
Listen to the radio report below.