(Photo courtesy of the Almond Board of California)

By Natalie Willis, Reporter, Valley Ag Voice 

California almonds are estimated to come in at 3 billion pounds this year according to the 2024 California Almond Forecast published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service on May 10. This marks a 21% increase over 2023’s 2.47 billion pounds. 

The report attributes mostly favorable weather conditions from the end of Feb. into early March that boosted pollinations during the bloom which finished by the middle of March. While wet weather and warmer temperatures in April heightened pest and disease pressures, water allocation was a non-issue for most growers for the second consecutive year. 

Further, the forecasted yield is 2,170 pounds per acre, up 380 pounds from the 2023 harvest. 

“This larger crop estimate is what the industry expected after a productive bloom this spring, but it is also a testament to the hard work done by almond farmers throughout California during difficult times,” Clarice Turner, president and CEO of the Almond Board of California said in a press release. “Demand for California almonds around the globe continues to grow and our almond farmers constantly deliver on producing high-quality California almonds to meet that demand.” 

Five hundred almond growers participated in the survey from April 19 to May 5 for the production forecast, reporting data by mail, online, or over the phone. This report, known as the Subjective Forecast, is the first of two production reports for the upcoming crop year. The second report — Objective Forecast — will be released in July.  

The Subjective Forecast is an estimate based on options from a survey of 500 randomly selected almond growers across various regions and operations, while the Objective Forecast is based on actual almond counts in roughly 1,000 orchards.  

According to the Almond Board, if the estimated 3 billion pounds holds, 2024 will be the second-largest almond crop on record. 


The USDA modified a federal marketing order on California almonds to aid the creation of alternative markets and keep pace with evolving industry dynamics. According to a press release, the modification seeks to broaden the definition of almonds to include almond biomass for research purposes as well as shelled almonds for future marketing.  

Further, the modification — finalized on May 7 — alters election dates within the Almond Board of California to coincide with assessment collections and volume regulation recommendations to the USDA. Any language that requires separate accounting of certain excess funds will be removed and the reserve fund limit will be specified as six months’ expenses. 

These alterations to Marketing Order No. 981 — which regulates the handling of almonds grown in California — were made following the Oct. – Nov. 2023 referendum wherein eligible almond growers in the state voted on whether to continue the federal marketing order program. Votes in favor of the new amendments passed by an average of 85.9% of producers who represented 90.7% of the volume of almonds produced, according to the USDA. 

Marketing orders are industry-driven programs that leverage funds to design and execute programs a grower could not accomplish individually to achieve marketing success.  

These changes to boost market growth for the almond industry come after several trade missions conducted this year by the USDA and Almond Board to expand export markets. 

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