By Patrick Cavanaugh with the Ag Information Network
Three billion pounds! That’s the California almond objective measurement report done by the USDA and the National Agricultural Statistic Service. It’s up 18% from the 2019 crop.
Holly King is a Kern County almond grower and chair of the Almond Board of California. “I’ve always thought, boy, when the stars line up, we are going to blow the doors off the barn with production,” she said. “And this is the year with the acres we’ve got planted, it’s not a surprise that we could get to 3 billion. We just certainly got there a little sooner than we thought, an it’s a big jump from last year, for sure,” said King.
King noted that the crops were down in the last few years when there were pollination problems because of weather. “So this year we did not. It just was picture perfect and the trees are performing and you can sure see it in the numbers. I know the North got hit harder by moisture last year and the trees had a little bit of arrest and boy, you start looking at the nut, count on the trees in northern California, and it’s huge,” said King.
And, globally consumers love almonds. “We are fortunate that they aren’t a very perishable crop, not like growing produce,” King said. And they are heart healthy. They’re nutrient dense. They’re portable, and they’re affordable. So we’re very fortunate that our product has that many attributes that are certainly more in demand. On top of that, people are asking not only is it good for them, but is it good for the planet? And we have a good story to tell,” noted King.