CATCH THE BUZZ
Almond Production Down A Hair to 2 Billion Pounds
The federal government yesterday projected the California almond crop at 2 billion pounds, down slightly from last year's record harvest, primarily due to favorable weather during pollination and other factors, NASS officials said.
The estimate has a direct effect on almond prices. Big crops reduce prices but small crops mean buyers look for substitutes. California grows more than 80 percent of the world's supply.
There are about 780,000 acres this year, requiring about 1.6 million colonies for pollination. There are about 2.5 million colonies total in the U.S. Next year’s projections, based on acres coming into production, and acres removed due to old trees or not enough water, will be about 1.7 – 1.8 million colonies. Water, available (and affordable) good land, and honey bees are the three limiting factors to continued expansion of this lucrative crop in California. Water and bees can be managed, probably…good land….that will continue to be a challenge.
Average yield per acre is estimated at 2,560 pounds, down from last year's record 2,670 but still much higher than a decade ago.
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