The California Agricultural Statistics Service in Sacramento expects the state's growers will harvest 1.31 billion pounds this season. That's 17 percent above last year's revised production of

1.12 billion pounds, which set a record.

The statistics service bases the forecast on a survey of growers.

Estimated bearing acreage for 2007 is 615,000, compared with 585,000 acres in 2006.

The California 2007 almond set looks very strong, according to the statistics service. There was no difficulty accumulating chill hours during the winter, and there was a sufficient bee

presence in orchards during pollination. 

In general, California weather cooperated during pollination.  Some almond tree limbs are reported to be bowing and splitting under the weight of the heavy set. Throughout the Central Valley, the set nonpareil, the most widely grown variety, is uniformly heavy.

This current estimate is based on opinions obtained from growers. The sample of growers changes from year to year and is grouped by size of operation, so all growers will be represented.  Each selected grower is asked to indicate their almond yield per acre from last year and expected yield for the current year.

The state will release the almond objective measurement, which involves counting nuts on selected trees in selected orchards, June 29.