The June 30, 2008 objective almond forecast for the 2008-2009 crop year is 1.5 billion meat pounds, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service - California Field Office (NASS/CFO). This forecast is based on 660,000 bearing acres.

Doug Flohr, statistician for USDA-NASS, California field office, said the forecast is up 3 percent from the May 7, 2008 subjective forecast of 1.460 billion pounds. The estimate is also up 9 percent from this year's crop to date of 1.380 billion pounds as of May 31, 2008. The official announcement was made today at the Modesto office of the Almond Board of California, which funds the forecast.

The average nut set per tree is 7,452, up 1 percent from the 2007 almond crop. The Nonpareil average nut set of 7,079 represents a 0 percent change from last year's set. The average kernel weight for all varieties sampled was 1.43 grams, down 3 percent from last year.

For additional information contact the Almond Board of California at (209) 549-8262 or visit www.AlmondBoard.com.

The Almond Board of California administers a grower-enacted Federal Marketing Order under the supervision of the United States Department of Agriculture. Established in 1950, the Board's charge is to promote the best quality almonds, California's largest tree nut crop. For more information on the Almond Board of California or almonds, visit www.AlmondBoard.com.