UC releases a new cost study for growing almonds

Oct 31, 2016
SSJV almond orchard

UC Agricultural Issues Center has released a new study on the cost and returns of establishing an orchard and producing almonds in the southern San Joaquin Valley.

The cost analysis is based on a hypothetical farm operation of a well-managed orchard, using practices common to the region. Growers, UC ANR Cooperative Extension farm advisors and other agricultural associates provided input and reviewed the methods and findings of the study.

The study estimates the costs for growing almonds in the southern San Joaquin Valley using double-line drip irrigation. This multi-year study estimates costs from the previous crop, including orchard removal, through orchard establishment and the production years.

The economic life of the orchard used in this cost analysis is 23 years. The authors describe the assumptions used to identify current costs for the almond crop, material inputs, cash and non-cash overhead. A ranging analysis table shows net returns over a range of prices and yields. Other tables show the monthly cash costs, the costs and returns per acre, hourly equipment costs, and the whole farm annual equipment, investment and business overhead costs.

The new study, “Sample Costs to Establish an Orchard and Produce Almonds in the San Joaquin Valley – South- 2016” is the final almond cost-and-returns study in a series of four studies covering three different regions of California published in 2016. The other three studies on almond production include a study on almonds grown in the Sacramento Valley and two studies on almonds grown in the northern San Joaquin Valley. The northern San Joaquin Valley studies use conventional and organic production methods.

Free copies of this study and other sample cost of production studies for many commodities are available online. To download the cost studies, visit the UC Agricultural Issues Center Cost Studies website at http://coststudies.ucdavis.edu.

The cost and returns program is funded by the UC Agricultural Issues Center, which is part of UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the UC Davis Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.

For additional information or an explanation of the calculations used in the studies, contact Christine Gutierrez through the Agricultural Issues Center at (530) 752-1520 or cagut@ucdavis.edu


By Pamela Kan-Rice
Author - Assistant Director, News and Information Outreach