The USDA NASS has released the much-anticipated forecast for 2023 California Almond production. As the leading agriculture real estate brokerage in the Central Valley, Pearson Realty closely monitors almond production, which is essential to our business. This year's forecast is based on insights gathered from a survey conducted between April 19 and May 6, involving 500 almond growers. During which the almond bloom kicked off in mid-February, reaching its peak by the end of the month. However, things took an unexpected turn due to record-breaking rainfall and stormy conditions, affecting pollination.
Bee flight hours were limited across all growing regions, with reports of downed trees due to high winds and oversaturated soil. As a result, yields are expected to hit their lowest point in years, with variations noted across different almond varieties and orchard locations.
Adding to the mix, colder-than-usual temperatures lingered through March and April, causing a delay in the crop. Currently, farmers are in the midst of assessing their orchards for signs of disease and implementing necessary treatments like fertilizers and pest control. Thankfully, water availability doesn't seem to be a major worry this year.
In a nutshell, the almond industry in California is navigating through a unique set of challenges in 2023, making this year's forecast a topic of keen interest among growers and enthusiasts alike. Stay tuned for more updates as we track the journey of California almonds through the seasons.
Here's a snapshot of what the forecast entails:
Production Outlook: The forecast anticipates almond production to reach 2.50 billion pounds. However, this reflects a 3% decrease compared to last year's final production of 2.57 billion pounds.
Acreage Update: Almond-bearing acres are expected to total 1,380,000, indicating a 2% increase compared to the 2021 bearing acreage, which stood at 1,350,000.
Yield Dynamics: The forecasted yield is 1,810 pounds per acre, marking a decline of 90 pounds from the previous year. Notably, this is the lowest yield observed since 2005.