Agricultural Commissioner Marcie Skelton

Glenn County Agricultural Commissioner requests second disaster declaration

Glenn County Agricultural Commissioner Marcie Skelton requested a disaster declaration designation for Glenn County from the Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture earlier this month, due to the results of freezing temperatures that occurred in February and April. 

“During the week of April 11, 2022, Glenn County experienced sustained freezing temperatures ranging from 31.6-31.96 degrees Fahrenheit from 6 a.m. on April 12 until 1 a.m. on April 13,” read a release issued by the Glenn County Board of Supervisors. “The severe weather conditions affected crops and significantly impacted 2022 harvest yields for local walnut, olive, cherry and boysenberry growers.”

According to the release, growers reported a 5-50% crop loss for walnuts (averaging a 34% loss countywide), a 50-100% crop loss for olives (averaging a 56% loss for table olives and 51% loss for oil olive countywide), a 90% crop loss for cherries and a 67% crop loss for boysenberries.

“Based on Glenn County’s 5-year average yield and price comparisons, estimated dollars lost per crop are valued at $53,691,041 for walnuts, $18,455,403 for olives, $168,750 for cherries and $62,040 for boysenberries,” read the release. “This equates to an estimated $72,377,234 in financial loss to Glenn County growers.” 

Skelton had previously made a request for a disaster declaration designation on April 13 as a result of a frost event that occurred on Feb. 24 and its effect on almond crops. 

The impact of the February event revealed a 60% loss in overall almond crop production in Glenn County with an estimated $148,709,129 financial loss for Glenn County almond growers, according to the release, but this request was still pending at the time the information was reported.

“The two events combined have a $221,086,363 impact on local growers,” read the release. “Downstream impacts will also be felt by hullers, dryers, processors, millers, pesticide and fertilizer applicators, pesticide and fertilizer dealers and labor contractors.” 

County officials said if the Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture declares the events a local disaster, it would avail potential funding opportunities to affected growers through the United States Department of Agriculture, Farm Services Agency.

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