Despite unusual weather and pollination challenges, a USDA grower survey estimates a 2019 crop of 2.5 Billion pounds of almonds — a new record, and a 9.6 percent increase over 2018 production.
From the report:
The initial subjective forecast for the 2019 California almond production is 2.50 billion pounds. Forecasted production is 9.6 percent above last year’s production of 2.28 billion pounds. Forecasted bearing acreage for 2019 is a record high of 1,170,000. Forecasted yield is 2,140 pounds per acre, 2.4 percent higher than the 2018 yield of 2,090 pounds per acre. The subjective production forecast is based on a telephone survey conducted from April 19 to May 4 from a sample of almond growers.
The 2019 almond crop experienced unusual weather in the early part of the season. Significant rainfall during the bloom hindered pollination. However, an extended bloom period provided the opportunity to compensate for disruptions and allowed for more overlap between blooming varieties. Instances of rain continued into spring, bringing cooler temperatures that minimized pest and disease pressure, but there were reported occurrences of bacterial blast and jacket rot in some parts of the state. Strong winds in mid-April damaged trees and knocked off some nuts. As temperatures began to rise in the second part of April, orchards dried out enough to allow field work to begin. With the crop developing at a good pace, irrigation and fertilization are in full swing. Growers are optimistic as nuts appear to be sizing well.