Pistachio, early walnut harvest underway in California

The harvests of pistachios and early-variety walnuts are underway in California. Growers expect a 550 million pound pistachio crop, while the USDA estimates 495,000 tons of walnuts to be produced.

Published on September 10, 2013 2:20PM

Last changed on September 10, 2013 2:40PM

SACRAMENTO — The harvests of pistachios and the earliest varieties of walnuts are underway in California’s Central Valley.

As with many other crops, the pistachio harvest started a little earlier than usual this year, and growers expect to harvest about 550 million pounds of the nuts, according to the California Farm Bureau Federation.

Marketers say demand remains strong both domestically and abroad for pistachios from the Golden State, which produces about 98 percent of the U.S. supply of the nuts, the Farm Bureau notes.

Meanwhile, the first walnuts came off trees this year as the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service office here issued a prediction that 495,000 tons of the crop will be produced this year. That’s down just slightly from last year’s 497,000 tons.

There are about 255,000 bearing acres of walnuts in California this year, an all-time high, according to NASS.

Orchards with later walnut and pistachio varieties are being prepped for harvest, the agency reports. Harvests usually last well into October.

The shaking of almond trees around the state continues, with harvest of the Monterey variety having begun last week, according to NASS.


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