Two new University of California studies show the cost of producing almonds in the southern San Joaquin Valley under different irrigation methods.

One study shows current per acre establishment and production costs for growers using microsprinklers and the other study is for growers using flood irrigation. The studies are intended as a guide only and can be used to make production decisions, determine potential returns, prepare budgets and evaluate production loans.

The southern San Joaquin Valley is one of the primary almond production areas in the state. Each study is based upon a hypothetical farm using practices common in the region. Input and reviews were provided by UC Cooperative Extension farm advisors, researchers, growers, farm accountants, pest control advisers, and other agricultural associates.

Assumptions used to identify current costs for establishing the orchard, production operations, material inputs, cash and non-cash overhead are described in the study. Tables show establishment costs, profits over a range of prices and yields, monthly cash costs, hourly equipment costs, and the whole farm annual equipment, investment and business overhead costs.

Both studies were prepared by Mario A. Viveros, UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor, Kern County; Mark W. Freeman, UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor, Fresno County; Karen M. Klonsky, UC Cooperative Extension specialist, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, UC Davis; and Richard L. De Moura, research associate, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, UC Davis.

The studies are available at http://coststudies.ucdavis.edu; from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of California, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616; and from local UC Cooperative Extension offices.