The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) pegs 2012 California almond acreage at an all-time record of about 870,000 acres.

Last year’s estimated acreage is 4 percent higher than the 835,000 acres in 2011.

Of the 2012 acreage, NASS says about 790,000 acres were bearing and about 80,000 acres were non-bearing. 

Nonpareil was the leading variety last year, followed by Butte, Carmel, Monterey, and Padre. 

Kern, Fresno, Merced, and Stanislaus counties were the state’s top almond-producing counties. The four counties represented 63 percent of the total bearing acreage, down slightly from the previous year.

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The survey results are from a voluntary survey of approximately 6,000 California almond growers.

The 2012 data reflects tree removals from more than 10,000 acres (mostly older trees) during the last year. 

NASS predicts the 2013 preliminary bearing acreage at about 810,000 acres.

The full NASS almond acreage report is available online at

www.nass.usda.gov/Statistics_by_State/California/Publications/Fruits_and_Nuts/201305almac.pdf.

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