The widely watched NASS Objective Estimate was released today putting the 2018 crop at 2450 million lbs, up 7.9% from the 2017 crop total of 2258 million lbs.

Nonpareil variety is forecast at 910 million lbs, down from last year’s 919 million lbs.

Nutset per tree for all varieties on average is slightly down from last year (5,677 versus 5,714). Nutset per tree in the north (Sacramento Valley) was 14% lower than in the south (San Joaquin Valley), likely reflecting the northerly impact of the February freeze. Average weight per kernel came in slightly lower than last year’s measurements (1.54 grams versus 1.57 grams).

We note that high doubles will again be a problem in the upcoming crop.

With average Nutset and kernel weight little changed, the increase (192 million lbs) comes primarily from an increase in the acreage. 1.07 million bearing acres were used to calculate the 2018 crop, up 70 thousand acres from the 1 million acres used to calculate the 2017 forecast a year ago. Yield per acre is forecast at 2290 lbs per acre, up from 2258 lbs per acre in 2017.

Although higher than the Subjective Estimate of 2300 million lbs released in May, the forecast is still seen with the range of expectations though likely on the upper end.

The following chart reminds us of the accuracy of the forecasts over the past two decades. Usually the Objective is more accurate than the Subjective (average absolute variance of 5.5% versus 6.8%). Usually both the Objective and Subjective tend to underestimate the final crop. Last season the Objective was remarkably on target.

2018 Objective Crop Estimate


Jonathan Meyer
Treehouse California Almonds, LLC.

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