Virtually all almonds in the U.S. are produced in a 20,000 square mile area in the middle of California. The hot and dry Mediterranean climate there helps produce $17 billion worth of crops every year. … Temperatures rarely dip below freezing and historic rain levels have created rich soil, providing an environment suitable for almond growth. … Some researchers are starting to look north and ask: Could the Potato State become a hub for almonds? University of Idaho researchers are finding commercial production could thrive here.