The USDA NASS California Field Office recently released annual crop estimate for walnuts predicts this year’s crop will 485,000 tons.  This is slightly lower than last year’s record breaking crop of 503,000 short tons, yet the second largest crop on record if realized.

According to California Walnut Commission Chairperson Charles Crain, “We are delighted not only with the crop size but also with the high quality kernels we are expecting thanks to the mild spring and summer weather.  This excellent crop will help us continue to meet the growing consumer demand for nutritious walnuts both domestically and around the world.”

California walnuts account for 99 percent of the commercial U.S. supply and 78 percent of world supply.  In the past year, approximately 40 percent of available product was shipped domestically and 60 percent was shipped to export markets, making California walnuts the fifth largest California export.  Since 2002, domestic shipments have increased 24 percent.

“People have made eating walnuts a part of their daily routine because they are convenient, taste good and offer proven health benefits,” explained Dennis A. Balint, executive director of the California Walnut Board.