June 30, 2009
The June 30 objective almond forecast for the 2009-2010 crop year is 1.35 billion meat pounds, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service – California Field Office (NASS/CFO). This forecast is based on 710,000 bearing acres.
Doug Flohr, statistician for USDA-NASS, California Field Office, said the forecast is down 7% from the May 8 subjective forecast of 1.45 billion pounds. The estimate is also down 16% from last year’s crop of 1.61 billion pounds. The average nut set per tree is 5,589, down 25% from the limb-busting 2008 almond crop. The average nut set of the industry’s flagship variety, Nonpareil, is 5,136, down 27% from last year's set. The average kernel weight for all varieties sampled was 1.58 grams, up 10% from last year.
The 2009 crop is down in part because of a difficult spring, and looks to be about two weeks behind. Bloom progressed slowly due to wet conditions, and wet weather hampered pollination. Cool temperatures did extend the almond bloom in parts of the Sacramento Valley. In addition, freezing temperatures in March caused damage to some almond orchards.
The official announcement was made Tuesday at the Modesto office of the Almond Board of California (ABC), which pays for the forecast. Following the announcement, Richard Waycott, president and CEO of the Almond Board of California, expressed confidence in the industry's ability to continue to market California almonds and grow global demand.
“While the objective estimate has been lowered somewhat from the subjective estimate, the efforts of the ABC to further develop global markets by expanding the demand for California almonds continue undaunted,” he said. “The organization looks forward to a very successful crop year in which millions of additional consumers worldwide begin including California almonds in their daily diets.”