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California's Central Valley produces over 350 different crops for consumption by global markets.

Picking numbers and random thoughts

Today I wrote down on the white board I use for planning purposes what I think NASS will come out with tomorrow when the objective almond forecast is released.

No… I’m not going to publish it just yet. I will truthfully reveal my guess in a future blog. You’ll just have to trust me.

Blue Diamond Almonds is reporting hull split as five-to-seven days ahead of last year. For those of you keeping track, hull split this year was seen the first week of June. It sure seems like the gap between pollination and hull split has closed the last couple years as harvest also looks to be ahead of last year’s early schedule, which was also ahead of normal.

Water is the key factor now. Time will tell how the absence of water for almond growers impacts their crop.

Random thoughts:

Speaking of water, curtailment orders (or as state attorneys call them in open court: “courtesy notices”) now extend into the mid-19th Century.

When does God receive His curtailment notice?

Getting back to my prognostications, the two California counties that tend to draw the most attention when crop reports are issued each year – Tulare and Fresno – should be released in August. As to who goes first is up for grabs. Last year Tulare County announced a week ahead of Fresno County.

If Kings County’s record report is any indication then it could be a banner year as well for Tulare County. Dairy production leads Kings and Tulare counties by a large margin and for those of us who pay attention, milk prices were at record highs throughout the entire year of 2014.

Going into last year’s public meeting where Tulare County Agricultural Commissioner Marilyn Kinoshita released her report to county supervisors, she attempted to get me to predict the total number prior to handing me a copy of her report. I was low.

It's entertaining to watch Tulare and Fresno trade bragging rights over which county is number one since that flag on the mountain has changed several times in the past decade. Of the several events in the past year I’ve heard, the chairman of the Tulare County Board of Supervisors speak he has not missed an opportunity to wave that flag.

As with the almond forecast, I’ve written down numbers on my white board to reflect what I think the new numbers will be this year. I may share them with you after they’re made public, along with my thoughts behind my choices. I tried to use some quick logic based on a little bit of experience and a gut feeling.

Trust me: I have no inside-information.

In time we will all find out in time how close I was.

In the meantime, the personal challenge will be to not over-think my predictions and change them several times.

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