The initial subjective forecast by the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistical Service for the 2017 California almond crop is 2.2 billion pounds.
Forecasted bearing acreage for 2017 officially hit the 1 million mark this year, NASS reported, which is the main reason for the record crop. That’s because forecasted yield is 2,200 pounds per acre, down 3.5% from the 2016 yield of 2,280 pounds per acre.
The California almond bloom began in mid-February; chilling hours were described as adequate, but less than 2016. The 2017 bloom was an extended bloom, due to cold temperatures, and lasted a few weeks.
Significant rains before and during bloom made application of dormant and bloom sprays more difficult. There were also concerns about bees pollinating in the stormy weather, but the extended bloom may have compensated for those issues.
While all the rain complicated orchard work, the water was a welcome relief from years of drought. Set was reportedly good and nuts were developing well.
Results of the subjective survey are based on opinions obtained from growers. The sample of growers changes from year to year and is grouped by size of operation, so all growers will be represented. Growers are asked to indicate their almond yield per acre from last year and expected yield for the current year.
The subjective production forecast is based on a telephone survey conducted by NASS from April 25 to May 4 from a sample of almond growers. The objective forecast will be released later in the season.