The USDA-NASS, California Field Office’s 2006 California walnut production is forecast at 350,000 tons, down 1 percent from 2005’s record production of 355 thousand tons.

Bearing acreage is estimated at 215,000, resulting in a yield of 1.63 tons per acre.

The forecast is based on the Walnut Objective Measurement Survey conducted during August. The survey indicated a state-average nut set of 1,458, down 7 percent from 2005.

The San Joaquin Valley set is 1,267, down 8 percent from last year; the coastal area set is 1,316, up 61 percent from 2005; the Sacramento Valley set is 1,660, down 10 percent from last year.

The percentage of sound kernels in-shell was 98 percent statewide.