(June 18) California growers are hoping for stable prices from increased demand as the state’s almond crop heads toward 1.31 billion pounds this year.

According to U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics reported in the Sacramento Bee, the crop increase would be more than 17% over last year’s record.

In the article, Doug Youngdahl, chief executive officer of Blue Diamond Growers, Sacramento, linked the high volume to better farming practices, improved yields and additional plantings.

California farmers grow more than 80% of the world's almonds, the Bee noted.

The nuts are harvested from late August through September.