Friday, January 21, 2011
The U.S. Department of Agriculture predicts this year’s California almond harvest to be a record breaking 1.65 billion pounds. That would make it the fifth-straight year of record breaking harvests.
Tom Daniels is with JD Almond Farms in Denair, California. He said expanding global markets are driving demand and pushing prices higher.
“There are more people buying now. China’s buying more now, Middle East is buying more, India’s buying more now. I mean there isn’t too many places that produce big volume,” Daniels said.
California farmers made a big push to plant more trees about five years ago after almond prices spiked to more than $2.80 per pound in 2006.
Those new trees are now bearing significant fruit. That's one reason a record harvest is expected, even though cold, wet weather last spring partially disrupted pollination.
California produces 80 percent of the world’s almonds. The nut is the state’s leading export crop.