California’s 2013 walnut acreage is estimated at 325,000 acres, up 8 percent from 2011. Of the total acreage, 280,000 were bearing and 45,000 were non-bearing.
Of the walnut acreage reported, Chandler continues as the leading variety with 91,185 bearing acres, followed by Hartley with 34,948 bearing acres. Chandler also accounted for 66 percent of the non-bearing acreage.
San Joaquin County continues to show the largest acreage planted with 14 percent of the total, followed by Butte with 13 percent and Tulare with 10 percent each.
The Pacific Regional Office-California of the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) conducts an acreage survey of California walnut growers. The purpose of this survey is to provide walnut acreage information on new plantings and removals. It is a continuation of a long series of industry-funded walnut acreage surveys.
This report consists of two parts:
- Estimated walnut acreage — bearing, non-bearing, and total.
- Detailed data by variety, year planted, and county – as voluntarily reported by walnut growers and maintained in the NASS database.
With perfect information, the estimated walnut acreage and the detailed data would be the same. However, differences exist for the following reasons:
A voluntary survey of approximately 5,200 walnut growers is unlikely to ever attain 100 percent completeness.
It is difficult for USDA, NASS to detect growers that are
planting walnuts for the first time.
The detailed data reflects tree removals from nearly 4,300 acres during the past two years. Of this number, some acreage was harvested in 2013 prior to being pulled out, and that acreage has already been removed from the detailed data.
The major source of the walnut detailed data was a questionnaire mailed to all walnut growers included in the NASS database. The mailing was made to approximately 5,200 walnut growers in early November. The questionnaire contained previously reported crop, variety, and acreage information preprinted. Producers were asked to update the information with new plantings, removals, and any other corrections; new growers were mailed a blank questionnaire. Growers were given six weeks to respond by mail. A telephone follow-up was then undertaken. Field personnel personally visited large growers who did not respond by mail or telephone.
To arrive at the estimated walnut acreage, the NASS walnut acreage database was compared with pesticide application data maintained by County Agricultural Commissioners and the California Department of Pesticide Regulation.
The USDA, NASS, Pacific Regional Office sincerely appreciates the many farm operators, owners, and management firms providing the information. A special thanks is due to the California Walnut Board for providing funding and support of this special acreage update survey.
2013 California Walnut Acreage Report (Full Report .pdf)