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Jun 8, 2021
Almonds could be Idaho’s next cash crop

Another University of Idaho agriculture research project bears fruit: researcher Essie Fallahi has proof that almonds can grow in Idaho.

“And when we have this kind of crop, I call it a success,” said Fallahi.

When Idaho and California farmers started asking for research numbers on almonds more than seven years ago, that got the ball rolling, followed by a $136,000 specialty crop grant to support the almond field trial at the Parma Research facility.

“These almonds are going to make it,” added Fallahi.

The Idaho almond trial included 14 different almond varieties, along with 10 walnut varieties, researcher Sara Mahdavi said, despite much different growing conditions than California, Idaho almonds are thriving.

“So far the quality, the numbers are very acceptable and good,” said Mahdavi.

Over the past two years, the almond grove has survived sub-zero temperatures, frost, blizzards and blazing heat.

“I like the different varieties,” said Mahdavi. “In high elevations, like the climate of Idaho, so far the varieties are doing fine,” she said.

Almond demand is soaring. Almondmilk alone topped the $6 billion mark last year. Production is growing at 14% per year and forecast to double by 2025.

Almonds could one day be an Idaho cash crop.

– Idaho Farm Bureau Federation

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