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Smaller U.S. almond crop projected amid larger stocksSmaller U.S. almond crop projected amid larger stocks

Industry representatives suggest the 2022 crop will be about 2.8 billion pounds, with yields averaging just over 2,000 pounds per acre.

Todd Fitchette

May 16, 2022

1 Min Read
Almonds are harvested near Arbuckle, Calif.Tim Hearden

News of a smaller U.S. almond crop for the 2022 harvest season comes amidst supply chain pressures and a high likelihood that the unsold volume of nuts carried forward into the next marketing season will be significant.

The first of two USDA estimates on the size of the U.S. almond crop, known as the Subjective Report, is a phone interview estimate of crop size. It's unscientific, but the first figure the industry uses before the objective measurement report comes out during the summer.

Free Report: Tree Nut Management Guide

Industry representatives suggest the 2022 crop will be about 2.8 billion pounds, with yields averaging just over 2,000 pounds per acre.

While the lower estimate was not unexpected because of frost and freeze damage that decimated some orchards, and significantly hurt others, the crop this year will also be challenged by water availability and the likelihood that Nonpareil nut sizing could once-again be limited.

Related: How well will U.S. almonds weather current events?

Further looming on an industry facing unprofitable nut prices will be how much of last season's harvest can be sold before harvesting this year. According to David Magana, senior analyst with RaboResearch Food & Agribusiness, last season's 2.85-billion-pound crop came on top of 608 million pounds of unsold crop from the previous season.

This year's carry-out could add an additional 930 million pounds at a time when storage space at U.S. almond facilities is already at a premium and there are no signs that export shipments will improve soon.

The April 2022 Almond Board Position Report suggests that handlers have sales commitments representing 97% of last season's U.S. crop. Uncommitted inventory awaiting sale totals more than 771 million pounds, or about one-fourth of last year's crop size.

About the Author(s)

Todd Fitchette

Associate Editor, Western Farm Press

Todd Fitchette, associate editor with Western Farm Press, spent much of his journalism career covering agriculture in California and the western United States. Aside from reporting about issues related to farm production, environmental regulations and legislative matters, he has extensive experience covering the dairy industry, western water issues and politics. His journalistic experience includes local daily and weekly newspapers, where he was recognized early in his career as an award-winning news photographer.

Fitchette is US Army veteran and a graduate of California State University, Chico. 

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