A NSW Government website

Almond | Nonpareil

NSW almond growing regions are likely to continue to experience high to very high suitability for production under a warmer climate.Almond-growing in NSW is concentrated in the Riverina and Far West regions of the state.

Almonds in NSW

NSW produces an average of 23,000 tonnes of almonds a year. The NSW almond industry has grown substantially in recent years, from 1.88 million trees in 2016 to 5.83 million trees in 2020. Nonpareil is the most common variety of almond grown in NSW. The map shows the main almond growing regions in NSW. Darker colours represent greater annual production of almonds.

The key almond phenophases assessed in this project are dormancy, bud initiation, budburst, flowering and pollination, fruit set and early growth, kernel filling, and hull-split and harvest.

What is the NSW DPIRD Climate Vulnerability Assessment? ⏷

Climate change is altering the growing conditions for many agricultural commodities across NSW. Primary producers need evidence-based information about the changing climate, and the risks and opportunities it may bring.

The NSW DPIRD Climate Vulnerability Assessments are enhancing the resilience of our primary industries by providing information and data to help the sector better plan for, and respond to, climate change. They have assessed climate change impacts for extensive livestock, broadacre and irrigated cropping, marine fisheries, forestry, horticulture and viticulture, and important biosecurity risks associated with these industries to inform sound planning, risk management and adaptation decisions.

Learn more about the Climate Vulnerability Assessment.

How we assessed climate suitability ⏷

Climate projections were sourced from Climate Change in Australia’s ‘Application Ready Data’. This dataset is comprised of projections from an ensemble of 8 global climate models, each presenting a plausible future climate. The models differ in their projections, giving rise to uncertainty which is reflected in the confidence statements given in brackets. Care should be taken when interpreting these results.

The Climate Vulnerability Assessment is intended to highlight potential industry- or regional-level changes. Intermediate and high emissions scenarios were used in the assessments (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5), but these are not the only future scenarios possible. The inclusion of climate variables important to the commodities production was based on published research, expert knowledge and data quality and availability.

Learn more in the Climate Vulnerability Assessment Project Framework.

Climate impacts: what to expect

All almond-growing regions in NSW are expected to maintain or increase their climate suitability to very high climate suitability by 2050 under both emissions scenarios.

Almond vulnerabilities

  • The number of days with temperatures above 40°C is likely to increase during kernel filling, which could reduce nut size and yield when combined with water stress (moderate to high confidence).
  • Irrigation water requirements are likely to increase for almond-growing regions in the future (moderate to high confidence). The increase is likely to be greatest under the high emissions scenario.

Almond opportunities

  • A decrease in the number of days with temperatures below 0°C is expected to minimally increase climate suitability for the Hillston, Griffith, Darlington Point, Narrandera, and Griffith growing regions during budburst (high confidence). The regions east of Narrandera and Griffith are also expected to experience a minimal increase in suitability during flowering and pollination due to a warmer climate (moderate to high confidence). A warmer climate should alleviate the risk of frost damage during the budburst and flowering phenophases.
  • All growing regions are likely to remain very highly suitable for dormancy, flowering and pollination, fruit set and growth, hull-split and harvest phenophases (moderate to high confidence).
  • Climate suitability for kernel staining, a quality issue for almonds, is likely to remain similar to what has been historically experienced (moderate to high confidence).

Adapting to the changing climate

Adapting to extreme heat

  • Applying kaolin clay spray to almond trees can reduce the temperature of sprayed surfaces and the effects of sunburn. More research and development is needed to understand the financial and productivity impacts of this approach.

Adapting to increased irrigation water requirements

  • The almond industry may need to improve water efficiency through changing irrigation practices, upgrading water infrastructure or adopting new technologies.

Where can I find the climate suitability maps?

Maps of historical and future climate suitability for horticultural commodities were produced to demonstrate where in the state a commodity is likely to thrive or else be limited by future climatic conditions. The maps are not provided on these webpages but can be found in the Climate Vulnerability Assessment Summary Report (PDF, 41425.92 KB).

Almond Factsheet

(PDF, 407.12 KB)

Summary Report

(PDF, 41425.92 KB)

Related Climate Vulnerability Assessments

Contact us

For more information please email: vulnerability.assessment@dpi.nsw.gov.au