Aug 4, 2015 9:58 PM
The North State almond harvest is earlier than ever in the this year.
Growers tell us it's because of an early bloom and warmer temperatures.
Mike Vereschagin of Vereschagin Farms has 900 acres of almonds in Orland, and says it's the earliest harvest ever at his place, which has been in the family for generations.
They started shaking the nuts July 22nd, compared to late July or Early August ... which is normal.
"We had an early bloom this spring and a fairly warm spring and an early summer with mild temperatures ... so the trees weren't stressed out and they did a lot of growth early on in the season", said Vereschagin.
Statewide the yield is expected to be down about 4 percent from last year, and that means higher prices for producers.
Vereschagin says many farmers are growing smaller crops because of the high price of water.
The drought has brought changes to his operation. He added two new wells over the winter, but still had to purchase water, "I did have to buy water from the water district that transferred from some settlement contractors of high priced water, in order to keep things going along."
In the meantime he continues to hope for rain.
Almond harvest should continue through mid September, and Vereschagin says the prune crop will also come in early this year.###