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Almond yield expected to increase by 21 percent
A Manteca almond grower sweeps up almonds after they were shaken from trees. - photo by ROSE ALBANO RISSO

Estimates for the 2024 almond harvest indicate a 21 percent increase over the previous year.

The 2024 California Almond Forecast, released Friday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, shows that this year’s crop will come in at 3 billion pounds, up from last year’s 2.47 billion pounds. 

Forecasted yield is 2,170 pounds per acre, a 380-pound improvement from the 2023 haul.

“This larger crop estimate is what the industry expected after a productive bloom this spring, but it is also a testament to the hard work done by almond farmers throughout California during difficult times,” said Clarice Turner, president and CEO of the Almond Board of California, headquartered in Modesto. “Demand for California almonds around the globe continues to grow and our almond farmers constantly deliver on producing high quality California almonds to meet that demand.”

According to the report, 2024 almond crops experienced inconsistent, but mostly favorable weather for the first half of the growing season. The bloom began the second week in February for the early varieties. A handful of storms brought wind, rain, and hail to some areas, but overall mild temperatures from the end of February into early March helped boost pollination.

Bee hours were reported to be significantly higher than last year.

There was minimal frost damage to the 2024 crop. And, for the second consecutive season, water allocation was not an issue.

This Subjective Forecast is the first of two production reports from USDA-NASS for the coming crop year. It is an estimate based on opinions from a survey conducted from April 19 to May 5 of 500 randomly selected California almond growers. The sample of growers, which changes every year, is spread across regions and different sized operations. 

On July 10, USDA-NASS will release its second production estimate, the 2024 California Almond Objective Report, which will be based on actual almond counts in approximately 1,000 orchards.

 using a more statistically rigorous methodology to determine yield. If the 3 billion pounds holds, it would be the second largest crop on record.

This Subjective Forecast comes two weeks after Land IQ’s 2024 Standing Acreage Initial Estimate found that bearing almond acreage in the state has decreased about 600 acres from the previous year, to 1.373 million acres. 

USDA-NASS conducts the annual Subjective Forecast and Objective.