Report: Valley almond crop to dip for third-straight year

The Valley’s hot crop is in the midst of a post-COVID correction in the marketplace. Here’s how things are shaping up for 2023.
Almond harvest is full-swing Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014 at 150-acre Almond orchard near Avenue 184 in Porterville, Calif. (AP Photo/The Porterville Recorder, Chieko Hara)

The 2023 California almond crop is expected to drop for the third consecutive year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced on Friday.

California growers, the nation’s overwhelming leader in almond production, have seen prices of the in-demand crop plummet in recent years as production has soared.


Take a deep dive: The National Agriculturala Statistics Service (NASS) released its crop estimate for almond production Friday morning.

  • Almond production trends tilted during the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, with producers tendering a record crop of 3.12 billion pounds in 2020, leading to grower prices dropping below $2 per pound.
  • The 2021 harvest was about 2.93 billion pounds at $1.86 per pound.
  • Last year’s orchards yielded about 2.57 billion pounds at $1.40 a pound, or the rough breakeven point for farmers.
  • The 2023 harvest expected to come in around 2.5 billion pounds.

The big picture: In the post-pandemic world, almond producers have had to contend with tariffs in some of the large Asian markets and a shortage of shipping capacity at ports due to COVID-19.

  • While production is continuing its slide, consumer demand for almonds continues to soar globally, leading to a likely correction for producers.
  • Almonds brought about $5.03 billion in gross income to the state’s growers in 2021, ranking third among crop categories after milk and grapes.

What they’re saying: Richard Waycott, president and CEO of the Almond Board, said that the estimate was as-expected.

  • “In the past three years, growers have faced high costs, shipping issues, drought and more. But the water picture is better, at least for this year, shipping continues at record levels and global demand continues to grow,” Waycott said in a statement.

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