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Growing Together Spring 2020

Acreage Changes in California Influence Grower Options

Recently, both the Almond Board of California and the Walnut Board of California released updated acreage counts for each of their respective commodities in the state of California. The numbers for each crop, along with the acreage of pistachios, represent a staggering total of nut crops grown in California. The National Agricultural Statistics Service lists the following acres for each crop:


  • Bearing: 1,090,000 acres
  • Non-Bearing: 300,000+ acres


  • Bearing: 365,000 acres
  • Non-Bearing: 65,000 acres


  • Bearing: 250,000 acres
  • Non-Bearing: 50,000 (estimated, total undetermined)

There is some indication that entering 2020 the acreage might even be slightly higher; but it’s clear the total nut crop acreage in the state now exceeds 2,000,000 acres. The California Department of Food and Agriculture places the value of these crops at close to $10 billion annually, highlighting their tremendous contribution to both the California and National economies.

One of the benefits of this successful expansion of the state’s nut crop industry is it has given growers planting options when the demand and subsequent returns for some other commodities have decreased. For example, stone and pome fruit acreage have been reduced close to 70,000 acres over the last decade in California. Given the economic principle of supply and demand, this decrease in supply has increased the demand and return for the remaining crop, adding to the well-being of the overall fruit industry, thereby helping the growers of those commodities to succeed.

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