California walnut crop down 8 percent

The 2007 California walnut production is forecast at 320,000 tons, down 8 percent from 346,000 tons in 2006, according to USDA/NASS.

Bearing acreage is estimated at 216,000, resulting in an average yield of 1.48 tons per acre.

The forecast is based on the Walnut Objective Measurement Survey conducted during August. Survey data indicated an average nut set of 1,357 per tree, down 7 percent from 2006's average of 1,458. The San Joaquin Valley set is 1,162, down 8 percent from last year; the coastal area set is 1,221, down 7 percent from 2006; the Sacramento Valley set is 1,548, down 7 percent from last year. The percentage of sound kernels in-shell was 98.4 percent statewide.

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