California's 2010 almond production is forecast at 1.65 billion meat pounds, up 8 percent from May's subjective forecast and 17 percent above last year's crop, according to USDA/NASS. The forecast is based on 740,000 bearing acres.

Production for the Nonpareil variety is forecast at 640 million meat pounds, 18 percent above last year’s deliveries. The Nonpareil variety represents 39 percent of California’s total almond production.

Despite a variable spring, weather in 2010 had few negative effects on the coming almond crop. Bee activity was reported to have been hampered some by the rain, but overlap of varieties was excellent. Nut sets were higher than in 2009; nut weights and measurements were up as well. High winds resulted in some nut and tree losses, but damage was not significant. Wet weather increased concerns about fungal infections and rot, but additional sprays have kept the problem in check. A benefit of the cool weather has been low insect pressure; overall, the trees are growing well and the crop is developing in good condition.

The average nut set per tree is 5,956, up 7 percent from 2009. The Nonpareil average nut set of 5,583 is up 9 percent from last year’s set.

The average kernel weight for all varieties sampled was 1.72 grams, 9 percent above last year. A total 98.7 percent of all nuts sized were sound.

The survey began June 7 and sampling was completed by June 25. There were

1,632 trees sampled for the 2010 survey in 816 orchards. Additional orchards were not sampled for one of the following reasons:

1) Orchard had been sprayed.

2) Orchard had been recently irrigated and was wet.

3) Orchard had been pulled.

4) Grower would not grant permission or could not be contacted.

The Objective Measurement Survey is funded by the Almond Board of California.

Following the announcement Thursday, Richard Waycott, president and CEO of the Almond Board of California, expressed confidence that the California almond industry will continue to produce a reliable supply of safe, high-quality almonds that meets the growing global demand. “As the objective estimate is higher than last year’s crop, the efforts of the almond board to further develop global markets by expanding the demand for California Almonds continue” he said. “The organization looks forward to a very successful year in which almonds are used as a versatile ingredient, widely appreciated for taste, and global consumer appeal of California almonds continues to grow.”