The Californian almond crop for 2008/9 should produce 1.5m lbs of almond “meat” – the usable part of the nut, minus the shell - according to the United States Department of Agriculture’s statistics service.

The forecast is up 3 percent from the May 7, 2008 subjective forecast of 1.460 billion pounds. The forecast is funded by the Almond Board of California. The average nut set per tree is 7,452, up 1 percent from the 2007 almond crop.

Richard Waycott, the Almond Board of California’s President and CEO, commented: “This forecast continues the upward trend established in the 2006/2007 indicating the possibility of another record crop year. The California almond industry is well positioned to meet the ever-growing global demand for almonds.”