April 10, 2021 by Ebastores editorial team
Updated April 10, 2021
Almond production and harvest
The production of the almond tree varies from one region to another, according to the environment and the methods of cultivation used. The United States of America reigns supreme over the field of almond production. The harvest usually suffices the whole country and is exported to other countries as it produces about 2,002,742 tons annually of almonds. The state of California is the main spot for the production of almonds, followed by Spain, which produces 202,339 tons of almonds annually and in the third place, comes Iran, which produces 147,863 tons of almonds annually, while in the fourth place comes Morocco, which produces 112,681 tons of almonds annually.
Information on almond production
There are several facts related to the fruit and production of almond trees, and they are as follows:
Almond trees are considered one of the trees that do not bear fruit directly when planted; it may take several years, up to 5 years, and for some types, it may take 12 years until the almond tree can produce fruits as required. Once a tree starts bearing fruits, it will bear fruits every season for the next 50 years.
It must be taken into account that most almond trees do not produce fruits automatically, as the production of almond fruits is a result of the pollination process, so the almond tree needs to be pollinated with another tree of a different strain to give fruits as long as it is not self-pollinating. It is better to plant a number of Almond trees of different strains together so that natural pollinators such as bees transfer pollen from one tree to another as part of their natural behavior.
Grafting is a good solution for non-fruitful trees. Usually, a part of a fruitful tree belonging to a different strain other than that to which the tree to be grafted belongs, so that the part that was grafted from the plant becomes fruit full and productive. Grafting is usually done in the spring so that the material under the bark is moist and green. Grafting is not a solution for non-fruitful trees due to poor site selection or lack of nutrients.
Harvesting almonds trees begins after the outer husk splits and when the seed husk becomes brown and dry. The almond tree needs 180-240 days for the inner seed to ripen. When its internal components, the embryo, and the husk, reach the minimum amount of moisture inside, shake the trees, then separate the outer husk from the inner seed to obtain it. Then the almond fruits are frozen for a week or two until any remaining worms are eliminated, and then they are stored in plastic bags.
Largest consumers of almonds
The United States is not only the largest producer of almonds in the world, but it is also the largest consumer. In 2016, the United States consumed 315,736 metric tons of almonds compared to the 261,306 metric tons it consumed in 2012. Despite being a major producer, the United States imports a small percentage of almonds from the global market for blending purposes. Its per capita consumption is estimated at 0.98 kg per year, making the United States the largest consumer per capita. A California account for 99% of the almonds produced in the United States and remains the only place where commercial almonds are grown on the continent. About 70% of the almonds grown in California are exported overseas while the remainder is consumed locally.
India is the second-largest consumer of almonds even though almonds are not grown in the country. Consumption increased from 46,580 metric tons in 2013 to 82,915 metric tons in 2016. India imports every single almond it consumes. In 2016, the country imported 83,148 metric tons of fruit making it the third-largest importer after Spain and Germany. Almonds are mostly consumed by the upper class in India who represents a tiny percentage of the total population. The per capita consumption is 0.06. The United States is the largest exporter of almonds to India.
Germany is the third-largest consumer of almond nuts. In 2016, Germany consumed 73,163 metric tons of almonds. Germany produces very little almonds to satisfy the domestic market and thus imports a large percentage from the United States. In 2016, Germany imported 86,836 metric tons of walnuts. Excess import is processed and exported to other countries.