Friday, February 07, 2014

Rain or No Rain.. which do we want?!

Drought update

This weekend, the forecast for northern California calls for 1 - 3+ inches of rain/snow.  While this is relief for region suffering from the effects of a long running drought, the timing couldn't be worse.

Farmers, ranchers, environmentalists ... and Politicians have all been praying for rain or snow in California.  However, we really don't need it rain during the bloom season for the almond trees!!!!  This hampers the flowering and pollination for the almonds trees.

(On a side note, everyone last year was talking about how there weren't enough bees.  This year, that bit of news hasn't made headlines.  It's primarily because there is a bigger concern... lack of water.  They'll be talking about this one if and when the drought issue is resolved)

There is another concern that affects other products in the nut/dried fruit industry.

Growers usually plant and cultivate multiple crops.  Almond growers generally also grow figs, prunes, etc...
With the high prices(yes, I can hear everyone moaning about this one) of almonds, there is a bigger profit margin on growing almonds vs growing "just about anything else".  With only a limited supply of irrigation... I'm sure you can see where I'm going with this one.  Growers are pulling trees and planting almonds, walnuts or pistachios.

These are tree nuts, and tree fruits.  They are not row crops like corn or wheat, where you can just "skip" a year and continue next year  They take time before they are mature to bear fruit.  With the rising costs and lack of availability on irrigation, we will see problems becoming worse, before it gets better.

-T. Kim

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