Pacific Swell | Southern California environment news and trends

California almonds expecting bumper crop this year

Almond blossoms.
Almond blossoms.

The National Agricultural Statistics Service last week predicted that this year’s almond harvest could reap as much as 2.1 billion pounds of the popular nut, which would break last year’s record haul of 2.03 billion pounds. Experts credit ideal weather and an abundance of bees pollinating almond blossoms for the bumper crop.

According to the Merced Sun Star, the growing popularity of almonds around the world will match the bountiful supply, with exports to territories like South Korea, China and the Middle East up by 18 percent from just last year. Brazil is among the next clutch of locales the almond industry is currently looking to expand.

"Our only concern is on the supply side, we want to make sure we can keep up with demand," said Richard Waycott, president and CEO of the Almond Board. "We have had such incredible growth in virtually all of our markets around the world."

That’s not the only good news for the almond industry. It was just announced this week that a study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture has found that almonds contain about 20 percent fewer calories that previously believed.

California is the world’s primary supplier of almonds, with the nuts second only to milk when it comes to gross farm income in Northern San Joaquin Valley.