Touch the Soil News #342
The U.S. is the world’s largest almond producer. California is the largest almond producing state. With prices more than 1/3 below historical averages and severe water shortages in California, a big hit is coming.
The nation’s largest almond grower – Wonderful Orchards – recently announced it was taking out 10,000 acres of almonds due to water constraints and poor prices. One acre of almond trees produces about 2,100 lbs. of almonds a year. Americans eat an average of 2 lbs. of almonds a year. The 10,000-acre curtailment of almond orchards represents the annual consumption of 10.5 million Americans.
It's hard to imagine taking a buldozer to 10,000 acres of almonds (see video below).
To put this 10,000 acre curtailment into perspective, the cost of re-establishing 10,000 acres of new almond orchards is around $20,000 per acre or $200 million dollars. In addition, this investment must be made over four years before there is an economic harvest of consequence. Unknown at this time is what additional costs there would be to get an adequate supply of water to any new orchards put in.
Following is a video of high tech almond tree removal just posted this week from California. It is kind of gut-wrenching.