DeshidratadosJul. 8, 2011
Producción en California se estima en 1.950 millones de libras, esto es 19% más que la temporada anterior
California almond farmers should produce a record cracking 1.95 billion-pound crop this fall, 19 percent more than last year’s 1.64 billion-pound harvest, also a record.
Productivity, at 2,600 pounds per acre, is also expected to set a new record, up 17 percent from last year’s 2,250-pound-per-acre average, according to a forecast released Wednesday by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. A cool, wet spring did little to dampen the almond outlook, the agency noted. “Low disease and insect pressure have been reported and, with all the precipitation California has seen this winter, lack of water for irrigation is not the problem it was a few years ago,” according to the report. “The crop in general is said to be good with heavy sets noted on several varieties.”
Almonds are a leading cash crop in San Joaquin County, where farmers reaped a harvest worth $134 million in 2009. Producers were a little surprised by the high official estimate for the state. “I’m not real surprised; the orchards do look good in our area,” said Rick Veldstra, an Escalon-area almond farmer. “But statewide back-to-back record crops – I think maybe that’s a little bit optimistic.” Mike Gikas, past president of the San Joaquin Farm Bureau, said last winter provided sufficient chilling hours that actually benefits almonds and other tree crops. “That was a plus as far as the number of nuts sitting on there and the trees come on with a big crop,” he said. He speculated large acreages of orchards planted in recent years and just coming into full production may be particularly vigorous producers.
Veldstra sees that in his own trees. “I know my younger orchards have a very big crop,” he said. “My older ones are decent; they’re not loaded, but they’re decent.” Veldstra also said he has little concern that the record crop might result in an oversupply of almonds. California, which produces roughly 80 percent of the world’s supply, has recently set a string of monthly sales records, as consumption of the crunchy nut increases 6 to 9 percent annually. “They’re selling like hotcakes,” he said.