The latest subjective almond forecast from the U. S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) indicates a slight drop from last year. The initial forecast for 2022 almond production is 2.8 billion pounds. The number represents a four percent decline from last year. While production is projected to come down, forecasted bearing acreage for this year is a record high of 1.37 million acres.
“A lower crop estimate was not totally unexpected versus last year’s 2.9 billion pounds,” President and CEO of the Almond Board of California, Richard Waycott said in a press release. “Some growers’ crops this spring were impacted by frost, while all growers are managing continuing concerns about water availability. However, demand for California almonds around the globe remains strong and California almond growers are prepared to meet that demand.”
The 2022 almond crop has endured a mostly dry winter similar to what was experienced last year. Water reservoir storage and snowpack levels continue to be well below normal. Almond bloom was relatively quick this year with mild temperatures for most of the state. Freezing temperatures during the last week of February hit many growing regions. Frost damage appears to be most prominent in the northern part of the state, with early-blooming varieties being impacted the most.
Information for the subjective almond forecast is based on a survey sample of 500 growers that was conducted between April 19 and May 6. The forecasted yield from the NASS report is 2,040 pounds per acre, a decline of eight percent from 2021 numbers. Growers were asked for their almond yield per acre information from last year and the expected yield for the current year. NASS is scheduled to release the 2022 California Almond Objective Report on July 8. That report is based on actual almond counts and provides a more accurate picture of almond production numbers.