California Walnut Commission and Board Comments on 2023 California Walnut Industry Crop Estimate; Robert Verloop and Tim Sabado Comment
FOLSOM, CA - Who’s ready for walnuts!? The time has come for experts to tally up their crop estimates for the season, and we were not disappointed in the forecast. Using scientific methodologies, USDA field staff counted, measured, weighed, and evaluated thousands of walnuts from major growing regions in July and August for use in a statistical acreage model to establish the annual walnut crop estimate.
“The California walnut industry has increased its focus on providing handlers and growers the most accurate crop information by accelerating the collection of various data points,” said Robert Verloop, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director for the California Walnut Commission (CWC) and Board (CWB).
While official final shipment, inventory, and close-out figures for the 2022 crop year will be released within the month, preliminary figures indicate last year’s crop is virtually sold out. The 2023 California walnut production is forecast at 790,000 tons, up 5 percent from 2022’s production of 752,000 tons, a press release stated. The forecast is based on 385,000 bearing acres, down 4 percent from 2022’s estimated bearing acreage of 400,000.
“Last year, we were facing a completely different scenario with 130,000 tons in inventory brought on by the lingering effects of the COVID-impacted global marketplace and a record heat wave last September that negatively impacted the entire crop, which led to lethargic sales and record-low grower returns,” added Verloop.
Inshell walnut shipments for international destinations will start in October. In the United States and Canada, retail customers are currently placing orders and building sales plans for traditionally large holiday promotions and health-focused kernel campaigns for January and February.
“With minimal carryover from the previous crop year and favorable weather throughout the growing season, we’re optimistic about the new crop year,” said Tim Sabado, CEO of Prima Noce. “The upcoming crop promises a return to the exceptional quality that defines California walnuts globally. Harvest will begin in September, and may extend into November due to the early season cooler temperatures. “Our focus is on an aggressive harvest, picking the crop at its peak quality and freshness.”
As you begin prepping your departments for the fall and winter, turn to California walnuts to build those displays.