USDA: 2022 California Almond Forecast
The initial subjective forecast for the 2022 California almond production is 2.80 billion pounds. Forecasted production is 4% below last year's production of 2.92 billion pounds. Forecasted bearing acreage for 2022 is a record high of 1,370,000. The forecasted yield is 2,040 pounds per acre, 8% lower than the 2021 yield of 2,210 pounds per acre. The subjective production forecast is based on a survey conducted from April 19 to May 6 from a sample of 500 almond growers. Respondents had the option of reporting their data by mail, online, or phone.
Similar to last year, the 2022 almond crop experienced a primarily dry winter throughout the state. Although there were a few scattered storms, snowpack and water levels continue to be well below average.
The almond bloom began in early February with favorable weather for pollination. Warm temperatures encouraged a shorter bloom period than has occurred in recent years. The North Region, with an earlier bloom than the Central and South Regions, was hit the hardest by a freeze that occurred during the last week in February. Frost damage was observed, with reports that some acres would be left unharvested without an adequate nut set. In addition to variability in expected yields across regions, the impact of the freeze appears to differ by variety, as late-blooming varieties were reported to have fared better than the early-blooming varieties.
The lack of water continues to be a top concern for almond growers. Excellent weather in April helped the crop develop, with a few instances of spring rain bringing some relief to areas impacted by drought conditions. Despite record-high bearing acreage, the 2022 crop is not expected to be as large as the past two years.
Results of the subjective survey are based on opinions obtained from growers. The sample of growers changes from year to year and is grouped by the size of operation, so all growers will be represented. Growers are asked to indicate their almond yield per acre from last year and expected yield for the current year