last updated 24 Apr 2021

Note: These are some quick notes I put together when our family was looking into almonds for a family farm. Some of the links are old and others could be misleading.
The authoritative links I'd recommend are:

Almond Board Crop Reports 2020 data published Apr 22, 2021
Top 20 varieties
Variety Acreage Planted During Years Shown And Standing In 2020 Acres standing in 2020
2018 2019 2020 Bearing Non-
bearing
Total
Nonpareil 11,238 8,525 4,704 331,577 24,467 356,044
Monterey 6,030 3,786 1,954 126,286 11,770 138,056
Butte 502 858 668 73,137 2,029 75,166
Carmel 550 286 166 66,293 1,002 67,296
Padre 211 494 622 48,093 1,327 49,420
Independence 7,869 4,134 3,033 44,614 15,036 59,650
Percent of total24%19%20%5%22%6%
Fritz 260 335 307 38,988 902 39,890
Aldrich 972 882 526 28,858 2,380 31,238
Wood Colony 1,070 427 193 27,197 1,690 28,887
Sonora 122 155 16 14,749 293 15,042
Price Cluster 148 65 97 11,369 309 11,678
Mission (Texas) 15 31 10 7,439 55 7,494
Winters 154 45 13 4,847 212 5,058
Peerless 55 26 9 3,676 90 3,766
Supareil 88 5 7 3,490 99 3,589
Avalon 23 0 0 3,453 23 3,475
Shasta 1,256 527 1,046 2,291 2,829 5,119
Livingston 33 0 0 1,642 33 1,675
Ruby 39 0 0 1,579 39 1,618
Ne Plus Ultra 0 30 53 1,387 83 1,470
State Total 32,331 22,142 14,808 850,889 69,280 920,169
Nonparell +
Monterey + Aldrich % of total
49% 7.5%
Contents: Production: | Consumption: | Prices: | Rootstock | Bees: | Links:

Production:
California dominates global almond production, growing approximately 80 percent of the world’s crop, of which about 70 percent is exported to over 100 countries. The two largest import markets, India and China, purchase about 28 percent of exported almonds.

Allmond Board
Production
Billion lbs.
Change price
/lb
change aceragelbs/acre
bearing change Non-bearing total
2020 3 16% $1.50 -41% 1,260,000 7% 2,381
2019 2.59 14% $2.55 13% 1,180,000 8% 350,000 1,530,000 10% 2,195
2018 2.27 $2.25 1,090,000 1,390,000 2% 2,083
2017 1,360,000

Consumption:

Prices:
As the global economy recovers in 2020, we expect almond prices to return to the mid-$2 per pound range, allowing growers to remain profitable. If prices unexpectedly remain soft, we would anticipate seeing replants of older or less productive trees (roughly 10.5 percent of plantings are over 20 years old) earlier than growers may have initially planned; in the long-run, this would be beneficial to nut pricing and orchard profitability.
Source: 2020 Almond Market - Covid 19 Impact Expectations | Peoples Company - Land Specalists


Prices 2020

Almond Variety Price History | Merlo Farming Group


Costs:
The first 4 charts below are from "The Economics of Growing Almonds"
At the 2010 Almond Industry Converence
A Presentation by:
Karen Klonsky, UC Davis
Brian Ezell, Paramount Farms
Debbie McMillan, Derco Foods

Cost of Trees:
Variety Rootstock Nursery Price Per tree Total for 50 acres* Notes
Shasta Krymsk 86 Burchell $14 Burchell Nursery has exclusive rights to this variety
Independence Krymsk 86 Dave Wilson $15.37* Dave wilson owns the proprietary rights to the Independence variety
Independence Hansen 536 Dave Wilson $12.82*
NP & Pollinators Krymsk 86 Dave Wilson $11.62
Independence Krymsk 86 Sierra Gold $16 Sierra Gold does does not own the proprietary rights to the Independence variety, thus the price is higher
NP & Pollinators Krymsk 86 Sierra Gold $10.65
* Does not include sales tax
* Independence proce includes $3.75 royalty


SAMPLE COSTS TO ESTABLISHAN ORCHARD AND PRODUCE ALMONDS Sac Valley 2019 | UC Extension
Summary of sample Cost
Economics of Growing Almonds - The Almond Board, 2010
Economic Impacts of California Almond Industry| UC Davis - AIC Ag Issues Center, 2014
2020 Almond Market - Covid 19 Impact Expectations | Peoples Company Apr, 2020
Rootstock
If a smaller tree (e.g. Independence) is what you are targeting, I would consider the following rootstocks: Krymsk-86 – smaller than Nemaguard (90% of size), but does not carry root-knot nematode resistance. Unsure of its salt and oak root fungus tolerance; Lovell – smaller than Nemaguard (85% of size), does not carry root-knot nematode resistance, not salt tolerant or resistant to oak root fungus; Atlas- About the same size as Nemaguard (95% of size), maybe a little smaller, carries nematode resistance, semi-salt tolerant, unknown oak root fungus. Peach rootstocks showed increasing signs of sodium toxicity within the leaves in areas with sodium in the water.
Independence vs Nonpareil or other varieties requiring pollination: Independence Almond - Some Observations - The Almond Doctor
Self-Fertile Almonds Gain in Popularity - West Coast Nut
A single variety orchard has advantages over traditional 2-3 variety plantings. The obvious benefits come from the single bloom, hullsplit, and harvest timing. This provides savings in time as it may reduce the passes through the block, and even more so for growers relying on custom spraying, harvesting. They still may benefit from bees. One observation was that independence orchards in areas adjacent to orchards with bees were more productive than isolated independence orchards.
Bees:
Decline of honey bees has been a significant concern for orchards requiring pollination.
See Bees here.

Hives (8 frame) per acre most CA orchards – 2.0-2.5 hives/acre) and recommended for self-compatible varieties (0.5-1.0 hive/acre, although the exact number is unclear) Source: The Almond Doctor 2020


Links:\1 R> The Almond Board of California
  Almond Crop Reports
  Almond Industry Position Reports - Production forecast, Shipments - Destination

2019 Almond Short Course Recording Links.htm
Almond Orchard Investment FarmFundr
2020 California Almond Objective Measurement Report | USDA
SAMPLE COSTS TO ESTABLISHAN ORCHARD AND PRODUCE ALMONDS Sac Valley 2019 | UC Extension
Young Orchard Handbook | UC Cooperative Extension - Capitol Corridor 2018
Almonds Sac Valley Orchards
Recent Almond Sales | Merlo Farming Group
Bees increase crop yield in an alleged pollinator-independent almond variety | NatureResearch The Great Bee Marathon - Honey Bee Biology and their Life Cycle | Bee Informed 2021
Almond Math | BeeInformed.org
Weighing the Risks and Rewards of Self-Fertile Almond Varieties | West Coast Nut 2020
Pollination Service Markets-Evolution And-Outlook/Are The Almond And Beekeeping Industries Gaining Independence | Choices Magazine Online 2020
Almonds | Dave Wilson Nursery
Professor Dan Sumner Quoted in Bloomberg News about Strength of California Almonds - Agricultural and Resource Economics, UC Davis 2018
Tree Nuts making their mark out West Logan Hawkes Jan. 2019
Shasta Self Compatible Variety sales reach 1 million trees - RPAC (Parreira Almond Processing)
Notes March 2021