published on July 7, 2016 - 7:49 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

The 2016 Golden State almond crop is shaping up to be a record-breaker, according to the most recent forecast from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which is projecting this year’s harvest will be up 7.9 percent from the 2015 crop.

Total almond production is expected to be 2.05 billion meat pounds in 2016, a 2.5 percent increase from May’s subjective forecast, which is based on 900,000 bearing acres.

The next highest production year was 2.03 billion meat pounds in 2011.

The USDA forecast includes the Nonpareil variety of almonds, which represent 38 percent of California’s total production, and are forecast at 780 million meat pounds, an increase of 7.4 percent from last year’s deliveries.

“The 2016 California almond crop began bloom in mid-February, after the winter provided better chill hours than last, said a report released Wednesday by the USDA’s national Agricultural Statistics Service.

A total of 98.8 percent of all nuts sized for the most recent USDA survey were sound, with the average nut set per tree coming in at 6,159 — up 4.9 percent from 2015.

The USDA report credited a “fast and uniform bloom” and increased winter precipitation for the upbeat forecast for this year’s almond crop.

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