Fresno County's top crop is almost ready for harvest

FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- Almonds in Kern County are the first to be shaken off the tree in the Valley, but the loaded orchards closer to Fresno are almost ready for harvest.

"They naturally start to open, and this is the drying process," said Fresno County Farm Bureau CEO Ryan Jacobsen.

Jacobsen grows almonds and grapes.

Last year a record 2.3 billion pounds of almonds were produced. A few months ago, growers were looking at an even bigger crop this year, but that won't be the case due in part to a wet spring.

"It's slightly down from the initial forecast, but overall these trees look great," Jacobsen said. "The nut crop looks great for this year and the harvest season is just slightly behind where we would consider average to be."

The industry projection is now 2.2 billion pounds of almonds, but locals aren't just waiting for the nut.

"You talk about by-products in San Joaquin Valley agriculture, this is a major source of cattle feed," Jacobsen said.

Some countries prefer to have almonds shipped while they're still in their shell.

Jacobsen adds international demand for almonds remains strong despite tariffs and trade discussions involving China and India.
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