California's almond crop is set to exceed 1m tonnes for the first time this year, following a rapid growth in production over the last 30 years.The US state grows over 80% of the world's almonds, while 70% of the crop is exported onto the global market, making it California's most valuable export commodity by some margin.
Figures from the Almond Board of California reported by the USDA estimate that the 2017 harvest will yield 1.02 million tonnes of nuts from 1 million "bearing" acres – that is trees of four years old and more. The yield forecast is 3% higher than its May forecast and 5.1% up on the 2016 crop.The 2017 flowering period was longer than for 2016 says the Board, due to colder temperatures. The crop also benefitted from a relatively wet spring, a "welcome relief after years of drought". A heat wave in June necessitated irrigation, but pest and disease pressure has been light.Increase in productivityThe first 1m-tonne crop represents a significant increase from the 417,000 acres devoted to the crop in 1987, which produced just 299,000 tonnes of product. Newer, more productive varieties and greater intensity have also contributed to the increase....MORE
What a difference a year makes.
U.S. Drought Monitor-West
July 4, 2017