2012 California walnut production is forecast at 2 percent larger (470,000 tons) compared to last year (461,000 tons).

The California Agricultural Statistics Service’s Walnut Objective Measurement Survey, conducted from Aug. 1–23, predicted an average 2012 nut set of 1,375 nuts per tree, down 1 percent from last year’s average of 1,388.

The percent of sound kernels in-shell was 98.0 percent statewide. In-shell weight per nut was 22.1 grams. The average in-shell suture measurement was 32.1 millimeters. The in-shell cross-width measurement was 32.6. The average length in-shell was 38.5 millimeters.

Weather during pollination was reasonable with only a few areas reporting frost. Spring weather conditions were ideal which allowed the nuts to size without delay.

There were some reports of abnormal nut drop in June and July due to blight.

The 2012 Walnut O.M. Survey utilized a total of 738 blocks with two sample trees per block.

Estimated nut sets, sizing measurements, the average number of trees per acre, and estimated bearing acreage were used in the statistical models.

The walnut survey began in 1958 to fulfill industry needs for an accurate walnut production forecast prior to harvest.