May 10, 2024
USDA forecasts 21% larger almond crop harvest

The 2024 California Almond Forecast published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA-NASS) estimated that the crop harvested in 2024 will come in at 3 billion pounds, 21% above last year’s 2.47 billion pounds. 

Forecasted yield is 2,170 pounds per acre, 380 pounds from the 2023 harvest.

“This larger crop estimate is what the industry expected after a productive bloom this spring, but it is also a testament to the hard work done by almond farmers throughout California during difficult times,” said Clarice Turner, president and CEO of the Almond Board of California. “Demand for California almonds around the globe continues to grow and our almond farmers constantly deliver on producing high quality California almonds to meet that demand.”

California almonds on the tree. Photo courtesy of Almond Board of California.
Photo courtesy of Almond Board of California.

“The 2024 almond crop experienced fluctuating, but mostly favorable weather for the first half of the growing season. The bloom began the second week in February for the early varieties. There were a handful of storms that brought rain, wind, and hail to some areas, but overall mild temperatures and excellent weather from the end of February into early March helped boost pollination. Bee hours were reported to be significantly higher than last year … There was minimal to no threat of frost damage and water allocation is not an issue for the second year in a row,” the report said.

This Subjective Forecast is the first of two production reports from USDA-NASS for the coming crop year. It is an estimate based on opinions from a survey conducted from April 19 to May 5 of 500 randomly selected California almond growers. The sample of growers, which changes every year, is spread across regions and different sized operations, and they had the option to report their data by mail, online or phone. 

On July 10, USDA-NASS will release its second production estimate, the 2024 California Almond Objective Report, which will be based on actual almond counts in approximately 1,000 orchards using a more statistically rigorous methodology to determine yield. If the 3.0 billion pounds holds, it would be the second largest crop on record.

This Subjective Forecast was released two weeks after Land IQ’s 2024 Standing Acreage Initial Estimate found that bearing almond acreage in California has decreased about 600 acres from the previous year to 1.373 million acres. 

USDA-NASS conducts the annual Subjective Forecast and Objective Report to provide the California almond industry with the data needed to make informed business decisions. These reports are the official industry crop estimates.

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