California’s Almond Acreage Grows More Than a Healthy Nut
Today, the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service issued its official report on California’s almond acreage, showing an increase in 2016. Bearing acres, that is orchards old enough to produce a crop, were reported at 940,000 acres, up 2 percent from 2015. Total almond acres for 2016 were estimated at 1.24 million acres, up 7 percent from 1.16 million acres the previous year. And with each new orchard and every added tree, the benefits of this agricultural forest continue to grow.
Almond orchards are generally planted with 116 trees per acre, each acre growing 450 pounds of protein, 260 pounds of fiber, and “good” monounsaturated fats, Beyond growing 80 percent of the world’s supply of heart healthy, nutrient dense almonds in a climate ideally suited to them, California’s almond trees and the land they grow on provide four key benefits to their surrounding communities and environment including enhancing health, creating jobs, adding value, and strengthening pollinators.
“California’s almond orchards provide the first natural food source for honey bees each year and benefit air quality by capturing and storing carbon dioxide, a potent greenhouse gas,” said Almond Board of California President and CEO, Richard Waycott. “Furthermore, the California Almond community creates jobs in a region known for high unemployment, boosts the economy and recycles almond coproducts like hulls and shells to address needs across several industries, including feed and bedding for livestock, with new uses being explored in food, automotive, pharmaceutical and plastics.”
 USDA-NASS. 2016 California Almond Acreage Report. Apr. 2017.
 USDA-NASS. 2016 California Almond Objective Measurement Report. Jul. 2016.
 USDA-ARS, NDL. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 28. Version Current: September 2015, slightly revised May 2016.
 USDA-NASS. 2015 Almond Acreage Report. Apr. 2016.
 Scientific evidence suggests, but does not prove, that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts, such as almonds, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease. One serving of almonds (28g) has 13 grams of unsaturated fat and only 1 gram of saturated fat.