The subjective forecast for 2014 California almond production is 1.95 billion pounds, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

This is 2.5 percent below last year's production of 2.00 billion pounds.

NASS predicts yields to average 2,270 pounds per acre; down 4.6 percent from the 2013 yield of 2,380 pounds per acre. 

Forecasted bearing acreage for 2014 is 860,000.

After the warmest winter on record for California, the almond bloom began in early February. The 2014 bloom was one of the earliest almond blooms in recent memory.

Orchards required irrigation during the winter months due to the lack of precipitation. Rain early this growing season offered temporary relief.

Pest and disease pressure has been lower than last year. 

Overall, the 2014 crop is developing faster than last year and harvest is expected to start early.

Water is a concern for many almond growers this year.

The subjective production forecast is based on a telephone survey conducted from April 15 to April 29 from a sample of almond growers.