Continued Innovation Accompanies Increased California Almond Acreage
MODESTO, Calif. – Today, the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service reported that California’s almond acreage continued to increase in 2017. Bearing acres, that is orchards old enough to produce a crop, were reported at 1 million acres, which is up 6 percent from 2016. Total almond acres for 2017 were estimated at 1.33 million acres, up 7 percent from the previous year.
The expansion of almond acreage means more almonds to feed a growing consumer demand — but also represents an opportunity for farmers to add value with coproduct innovations.
More than two pounds of hulls and shells are produced for each pound of almond kernels from California orchards. These coproducts have historically been used as livestock bedding and dairy feed, but Almond Board-funded research is underway to identify ways to increase utilization and redefine orchard coproducts as valuable materials for other industries. The future of almond coproducts includes pilot scale testing to improve soil quality, strengthen recycled plastics and feed insect larvae for poultry feed.
“The Almond Board remains dedicated to the future of the almond industry, driving innovations like coproduct utilization to ensure the continued success of farmers,” said Richard Waycott, president and CEO, Almond Board of California. “With an increasing almond acreage, the industry has more opportunity to realize the full potential of everything an almond orchard provides.”
 USDA-NASS. 2017 California Almond Acreage Report. April 2018.
 Kernel Weight - USDA Incomings received by Almond Board of California. Shell and Hull Estimations - Almond Alliance of California. August 2017.
 Huang, G., Covello, K., VanderGheynst, J., Simmons, C., Chiou, B. Almond Biomass — The Real, Weird and Wonderful Opportunities for Greater Utilization. December 2017.