California’s 2017 walnut acreage is estimated at 400,000 acres, up 10 percent from 2015. Of the total acreage, 335,000 were bearing and 65,000 were non-bearing.
Of the walnut acreage reported, Chandler continues as the leading variety with 121,524 bearing acres, followed by Hartley with 30,172 bearing acres. Chandler also accounted for 59 percent of the non-bearing acreage.
Butte County shows the largest acreage with 16 percent of the total, followed by San Joaquin with 14 percent and Tulare with 10 percent each.
The Pacific Regional Office of the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) conducts an acreage survey of California walnut growers. The purpose of this survey is to provide walnut acreage information on new plantings and removals. It is a continuation of a long series of industry-funded walnut acreage surveys.
The major source of the walnut detailed data was a questionnaire mailed to all walnut growers included in the NASS database. The mailing was made to approximately 4,900 walnut growers in early November. The questionnaire contained previously reported crop, variety, and acreage information preprinted. Producers were asked to update the information with new plantings, removals, and any other corrections; new growers were mailed a blank questionnaire. Producers were given six weeks to respond by mail. A telephone follow-up was then undertaken. Field personnel personally visited large growers who did not respond by mail or telephone.
To arrive at the estimated walnut acreage, the NASS walnut acreage database was compared with pesticide application data maintained by County Agricultural Commissioners and the California Department of Pesticide Regulation. In addition, NASS looked at data collected on the Walnut Nursery Sales Reports.