This fall’s pistachio and almond crops look both good and big, in comparison with last year. California’s pistachio production fell last year because of “blanking” caused by the drought and a lack of winter chilling hours. In Kings County where the crop grows on over 20,000 acres, production last year fell by half on a per-acre basis. Still it was a $86 million crop. The almond crop in 2015 was also down in the county, grown on some 21,000 acres here.
In 2016-2017 prospects look good for record almond crop even though prices have dropped from a year ago.USDA estimates California will have a 2.05 billion pound crop – up nearly 8 percent from last year and larger than the record 2.03 billion-pound crop of 2011.
According to the California Farm Bureau “After almond prices fell by nearly half last year, growers and others in the business say the market is now stabilizing and almond sales have picked up. Reduced prices, in turn, have helped to revive demand for almonds, with record shipments in the last three months, said Richard Waycott, president and CEO of the Almond Board of California.”
As for pistachios, Bob Klein,Manager of the Fresno-based Administrative Committee For Pistachios says this year is a “on-year” for this alternate-bearing tree and estimates of the crop size”keep growing.”
“Earlier the estimates for the state’s crop was around 650 to 750 million pounds and recently that has grown to over 900 million pounds.People are optimistic about both the size of the crop and prospects for marketing it.”
Klein adds the number of blanks are down this year and chill hours were up.The lower prices should mean more buying around the world he adds.Last year, the California crop totaled only 275 million pounds.