The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service California Field Office has released the annual crop estimate for walnuts, predicting the annual yield to be 495,000 short tons.
“We enjoyed a warm, dry spring which will allow us to harvest up to a week earlier than the 2012 crop, and we are expecting good quality, plentiful walnuts for our customers around the world,” said Donald Norene, California Walnut Commission Chairman. The 2013 estimate is less than 1% shy of last year’s crop of 497,000 short tons.
Walnut production has been increasing, with more than 11,000 new walnut acres planted this year, contributing to a crop that has nearly doubled in the last decade. “Domestic market development and continued expansion of export markets will be critical to future production gains. New emerging markets, such as India, will play a vital role in developing the industry’s future consumers,” said Norene. In July, market access was granted allowing California walnuts to be shipped to India.