Almond acreage climbs to 730,000

This year's almond crop will be coming from 615,000 bearing acres, according to USDA/NASS.

California’s 2006 almond acreage is estimated at 730,000 acres, a 6 percent increase from 2005's acreage of 690,000. Bearing acreage was 585,000 acres and non-bearing was 145,000 acres.

Nonpareil continued to be the leading variety, followed by Carmel and Butte. Monterey, Fritz, and Padre varieties showed significant acreage increases. Kern, Merced, Stanislaus, and Fresno were the leading counties. These four counties had 64 percent of the acreage in 2006 compared with 63 percent in 2005.

The acreage cam e from a voluntary survey of approximately 6,000 almond growers. This year's data also reflects tree removals from nearly 14,000 acres (mostly planted in the 1970's and 1980's) during the past t12 months. Of this number, a significant amount of acreage was harvested in 2006 prior to being pushed out, and that acreage has already been removed from the detailed data.

To arrive at the estimated almond acreage, the NASS almond acreage data base was compared with pesticide application data maintained by county agricultural commissioners and the California Department of Pesticide Regulation.

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