Shining A Light On Almonds
If almonds could talk, we bet that their hot take on 2020 might sound like “...what pandemic?”
The popular stone fruit crop had a stellar year, and the USDA estimates that 2021 will be another one for the record books. Harvest is predicted to be up 3%, reaching 3.2 billion pounds.
A warm, dry February and March provided excellent pollination conditions and has set almond producers up for their record year.
But what about the drought?
“Water availability will be the principal concern on growers’ minds as they continue to grow this crop,” noted Richard Waycott, President and CEO of the Almond Board of California.
And the mega-water problem: It ain’t cheap or easy to come by. In Western Fresno County it could go for $1,200 an acre-foot. It was $285 an acre-foot in 2019.
While we’re here: Growers in Central Valley California are testing out a new variety, Urasani. This is the golden nut of almonds.
It’s not only golden in color, but also larger, so it commands a bigger premium. Growers can plant more in a compact area, and harvesting Ursani involves less dust, so it’s a win-win-win.