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California: Organic almonds get higher prices, but transition is risky

Although lower market prices for conventional almonds may spur on more growers to switch to organic cultivation, production challenges and other economic factors continue to make the transition a risky endeavor.

Demand is still increasing for organic almonds, marketers and others in the business say. But California’s production remains tiny, as it has been for years. According to data from the California Department of Food and Agriculture, organic almonds represent about 1% of total state production of the nut, with bearing acreage in 2019 at 15,206.

Limited state production seems to have hampered growth, resulting in pricing volatility. Some food companies looking to use organic almonds have been reluctant to do so. But that may be changing. With conventional almond prices less profitable for farmers in recent years and organic almond prices remaining "relatively stable," it seems that more growers are interested in producing organic almonds.

According to agalert.com, learning how to apply organic fertilizers and get nutrients to the trees remains a struggle, and dealing with increased disease pressure is another.


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