It may be on the high side, but no one should be too surprised by the May 9 subjective forecast for the 2002 almond crop of 940 million pounds, shelled basis.

The California Agricultural Statistics Service (CASS) forecast is based on a survey of growers by CASS.

The 2002 estimate is up 14 percent from the 2001 crop of approximately 823 million pounds to-date. CASS forecasts the 2002 bearing acreage to be 530,000 acres. Most industry observers believe 15 million to 20 million pounds were lost in a Northern California spring freeze.

The Objective Measurement Survey, which uses sample almond counts to forecast the crop, is scheduled for release on June 27.