The Modesto, Calif-based Almond Board of California (ABC) released its forecast for the 2014-2015 crop year, estimating a harvest of 2.10 billion meat lbs. based on 860,000 bearing acres.

The forecast, funded by ABC, is administered by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s National Agricultural Statistics Service – California Field Office (NASS/CFO). 

“This year’s objective forecast during a third-consecutive drought year is a testament to the state-of-the-art farming practices and techniques our growers use to minimize water use,” says Bill Harp, almond grower and ABC chairman. “We are looking forward to celebrating a crop that is expected to be the largest on record and even with this volume, it will be a challenge to the meet the ever growing global demand for almonds and almond products.”

Dave DeWalt, deputy director of Pacific Region Office, NASS, said the forecast is up 7.7 percent from the May 1 subjective forecast of 1.95 billion pounds. As of the May 2014 position report, the estimate is up 4.63 percent from the 2013-2014 crop production of 2.007 billion pounds.

The average nut set per tree is 6,646, down 0.6 percent from the 2013 almond crop. The Nonpareil average nut set is 6,121, down 0.3 percent from last year’s set. The average kernel weight for all varieties sampled was 1.45 grams, up 6.6 percent from the 2013 record low average weight of 1.36 grams.

“Acres planted with almonds have increased almost 15 percent since 2007, according to the 2012 USDA Ag Census,” adds Richard Waycott, ABC’s president and ceo. “Almond acreage has grown consistently over the years as our family farmers have built their businesses sustainably to meet global almond demand.”