California’s 2008 almond acreage is estimated at 795,000 acres, up 4% from the 2007 acreage of 765,000, according to a report from the California Field Office of USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). Of the total acreage for 2008, 680,000 acres were bearing and 115,000 acres were non-bearing. Preliminary bearing acreage for 2009 is estimated at 710,000 acres.
Acreage for 2005, 2006, and 2007 was revised on December 31, 2008 based on data from the 2007 Census of Agriculture.
Nonpareil continued to be the leading variety, followed by Carmel and Butte. Monterey, Padre, and Aldrich varieties showed significant acreage increases.
Kern, Merced, Stanislaus, and Fresno were the leading counties. These four counties had 64% of the total acreage, unchanged from the previous year.
The NASS report consists of two parts: estimated almond acreage (bearing, non-bearing, and total), and detailed data by variety, year planted, and county, as voluntarily reported by almond growers and maintained in the NASS database.
The data reflects tree removals from more than 22,000 acres (mostly older trees) during the past 12 months. Of this number, a significant amount of acreage was harvested in 2008 prior to being pushed out, and that acreage has already been removed from the detailed data.