2019 California Almond Forecast

Almond orchard in Kern county

On April 10, we released our first statewide almond forecast for 2019 to our customers and partners.

Vinsight yield forecast: 2,170 lbs/acre

Vinsight estimated bearing acres: 1,130,000 acres

Vinsight production forecast: 2,452,100,000 lbs

Some background, when we forecast, we do so on the basis of yield to get an accurate performance metric for almond trees. This is how we normalize the fluctuation in production and bearing acres from year to year.

Our objective is to remove bias and allow the data to accurately forecast yield. We look at several datasets to include but not limited to weather, remote imagery, soil, location, age, variety, management practices, irrigation and historical yield.

When forecasting, we start with agronomy and look at the important phenological cycles for the crop. We then compare that with the data we collect and leverage machine learning algorithms to learn trends over time. The more data and time that passes, the more accurate our models become.

Some trends we’ve seen so far this growing season include, higher than average chill during bloom (although less than last year), significantly higher than average precipitation (especially during bloom) and fairly consistent temperature trends during the dormancy period. Temperatures begin to deviate from norms beginning in January. Here are a few charts showing this data.

10 Years of chill during bloom, Source: Vinsight database
Current season monthly precipitation totals
Current season monthly minimum temperatures
Current season monthly maximum temperatures

To give some more context on our performance, our forecast in April has historically been 95% accurate or better. For example, last year, our yield forecast in April was off by about 3% compared to actuals.

And as of today, the USDA released their 2019 subjective almond forecast.

USDA yield forecast: 2,140 lbs/acre

USDA estimated bearing acres: 1,170,000 acres

USDA production forecast: 2,500,000,000 lbs

Find out more about Vinsight and our forecasts by going to https://app.vinsight.co and signing up to get monthly updates until harvest. Our next statewide forecast will be released mid May.

For any questions or requests for more information, feel free to reach out to us via email at info@vinsight.co or call us at +1 (650) 395–8653.