California almond crop to surpass 2 billion lbs in 2013

California almond crop to surpass 2 billion lbs in 2013
A California farmer holds a ripe almond in Hilmar, Calif. (File photo)

MODESTO, Calif. (AP) — Federal agricultural officials are predicting another bumper crop for California's almonds this year.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is predicting that the state's almond growers will produce more than 2 billion pounds of almonds.

That's up 6 percent from last year's production of 1.89 billion pounds.

Almonds are the state's largest agricultural export. The Almond Board of California says more and more farmers are growing almonds as demand for the nut blossoms worldwide.

The Modesto Bee reports the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service based its latest estimate on a phone survey of 305 growers last month.