Where do almond trees grow?

From our previous articles about the almond tree you know that the tree likes sun. Sun and a well-drained soil. The soil must be a bit sandy although clay is also suitable. The almond tree's origins can be traced back to the Mediterranean, it is no wonder that the tree loves warm sunny weather. Sun is definitely an essential element for the tree to grow and produce fruit. But where exactly to these almond trees grow? In which states and in which countries? And do they grow on large almond farms or is it also possible to grow an almond tree in your backyard? The answers to all the above questions will be answered in this article. However, if you feel that you do not know enough about the almond tree or about almond nuts in general you can browse the various other articles concerning almonds in the menu on your left.

In which states does the almond tree grow?

In this article we are going to make use of the United States Department of Agriculture. Every year the USDA publishes a very detailed report containing lots of facts and figures on almost everything that has to do with agriculture (meaning plants, fruits, cattle, milk production and much, much more). When we take a look at the 2012 report (which was published in 2014) we can see the following:

In the United States in 2012 there are 7,052 farms that have almond trees on their land; a total of 936,248 acres is used for the production of almonds in the US alone. For comparison: about one American football field is one acre. This means that exactly 708 037.55 football fields are covered with almond trees.

But that was not the question. The question was: in which states does the almond tree grow? Again we are going to take a look in the numbers from the USDA Census Bureau. In the same report we can see the amount of almond farms per state. But we have to careful not to misinterpret the date: let's say that Alabama has 1 almond farm that is 40 acres large and let's say that Georgia has 16 almond farms that each are 2 acres large. In total the amount of acres that Georgia has is 32 (16 x 2 = 32). This means that although Alabama has only 1 almond farm, it still produces more almonds than Georgia does with 16 farms. This was just an example. Below you can read the 2012 numbers of almond farms per state, between brackets we provide you with the combined number of total acres.

Alabama: 1 (D)
Arizona: 29 (326)
California: 6,841 (935,804)
Colorado: 6 (1)
Florida: 3 (D)
Georgia: 8 (1)
Idaho: 5 (D)
Illinois: 2 (D)
Kansas: 6 (2)
Kentucky: 5 (1)

Michigan: 6 (2)
Missouri: 3 (Z)
Nebraska: 3 (D)
Nevada: 10 (7)
New Jersey: 4 (1)
New Mexico: 29 (13)
New York: 1 (D)
North Carolina: 2 (D)
Ohio: 5 (2)
Oregon: 20 (D)

Pennsylvania: 5 (5)
South Carolina: 7 (3)
Tennessee: 6 (1)
Texas: 13 (24)
Utah: 17 (39)
Virginia: 7 (D)
Washington: 6 (5)
West Virginia: 2 (D)

From the numbers above we can draw the conclusion that California is probably the biggest producer of almonds since it has the most almond farms (a total number of 6,841) and the largest amount of acres (a total amount of 935,804 acres). Arizona comes second and Utah finishes third with a total amount of 39 acres ready to grow almond trees on.

Tip: if you happen to live in California you can visit a real almond farm: Anderson Almonds. Glenn and Leslie Anderson run a small family farm (16 acres nonetheless) that is located in the Central Valley of California. They produce delicious organic almonds, meaning that they do not use any synthetic chemical products or chemical fertilizers. A fun family trip!

Where does the almond tree grow around the world?

The FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United States) has a program called FAOSTAT. With this program you can easily find the statistics for the world's various crops, trade, food security, population, food supply and much more. Underneath you can see the top ten countries that produce almonds in 2011, in brackets you can see the total amount in millions of tonnes:

1: USA (0.73)
2: Spain (0.21)
3: Iran (0.17)
4: Italy (0.10)
5: Morocco (0.13)
6: Syria (0.13)
7: Turkey (0.070)
8: Afghanistan (0.061)
9: Tunisia (0.061)
10: Algeria (0.050)

In total in 2011 over 2.00 million tonnes of almonds were produced. The US has been the largest producer of almonds for a long time, it produces about 80% of the world's supply of almonds. As you read before, most almonds in the United States are produced in California. Because the production in the United States is so significant, the US also exports a lot of almonds to other countries. In 2011 the US exported 637,000 metric tons of almonds.
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