However, because of the huge almond harvest last fall, — likely to be the state’ first 2-billion pound almond crop — prices for these nuts have softened, he notes.

“Last year, Nonpareil prices ranged from about $2.20 to $2.30 a pound,” Anderson says. “This year they’re talking about $2.10 a pound for Nonpareil. Prices for the pollinators are down around $1.50 to $1.70.  That may be off a little from the previous year, but not by much.”

“The quality of our 2011 almonds was really good,” he continues. “We pushed real hard to get them in before any rain. A lot of them had less than 1 percent insect damage.”

Yields of his pollinators, Carmel and Monterey, averaged about 1,800 pounds per acre last year. “That was really good for this area,” Anderson says. “Our Nonpareil yields came in at average of 2,000 pounds per acre. That’s not too bad for our end of the valley.”

He estimates his total almond production in 2011 rose about 20 percent above the previous year’s level. He’s not sure how much that reflects the weather last year. However, he attributes part of that increase to young trees, planted several years ago to replace those lost to wind in 2005, which are beginning to come into production.