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California almond growers shaking early, bulldozing orchards

After bringing in a record crop for the state of California and the association last year, there are now reports of growers pushing over orchards in their prime as they try to augment water needs. Also, it seems that some growers are shaking early.

According to Central California Almond Growers Association President Michael Kelley, last year saw a record crop of 155,267,678 pounds of meat equivalent. Now, Kelley reported to members: “We’ve heard reports of growers pushing over orchards in their prime as they try to augment water needs. Additionally, we’ve heard reports of growers shaking early in hopes that in certain water-stressed areas, the trees just might make it through the summer, suffering minimal damage, and returning to production next year.

“Another alarming situation occurring all over the San Joaquin Valley is the sale of almond orchards by long-time farming families, primarily due to inflated almond acreage prices, the lack of clear direction regarding water policy, and the myriad of regulatory burdens from state and federal agencies,” Kelley stated.

Farmprogress.com also quoted Kelley as saying: “Farming has gone from a field venture to a desk job to stay in compliance with requests for information and submission of reports. If we do not strive to protect and preserve these vital ranches and their ability to produce crops, the entire fabric and potential of our beloved San Joaquin Valley may be lost.”


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