CORRECTION: 6:00 p.m. 7July 16, 2018 - 2.27 pounds was changed to 2.27 billion pounds
MODESTO, Calif. - Even though California almond farmers were concerned about a freeze that occurred during the almond bloom earlier in the year, the prediction now is that it will be record year for the tasty nuts that are consumed broadly in the U.S. and abroad.
California is the home to the world's most efficient almond farmers, according to the Almond Board of California (ABC). The organizations says more than 80 percent of the world's supply of almonds come from California.
The reason given by the ABC for the increase in the crop is because of improved management of orchards and the number of newer orchards coming into production.
The record crop prediction was published by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The report shares findings that the 2018 crop estimate is up 7.9 percent from the 2017 crop production of 2.27 billion pounds.
The Almond Board reports they have reduced the amount of water it takes to grow a pound of almonds by 33 percent.
Another boastable achievement was the result of the rollout of a pasteurization program ten years ago, that resulted in zero outbreaks of foodborne illness attributed to California almonds.
By 2025 the California Almond Board will work with its farmers to:
- Reduce the amount of water used to grow a pound of almonds by 20 percent.
- Reduce dust during almond harvest by 50 percent
- Increase adoption of environmentally-friendly pest management tools by 25 percent
- Achieve zero waste in orchards by putting everything they grow to "optimal use."
The ABC's board Vice-Chair Kent Stenderup, who is himself an almond grower, said, "The successes we've achieved already allow us to celebrate and build opon our progress." "We now have the opportunity to define the orchard of the future and work to make it a reality," he added.