I just returned from a 12-day trip to China. I visited Beijing and Shanghai to report on the exports of almonds, walnuts, pistachios, and raisins from California. Trust me, I saw a lot of product in every grocery store that I walked into.
I met with Jessie with PR Consultants Ltd. in Beijing and we toured many grocery outlets to see Almond Board of California promotions and almond displays. Almonds exports to China are huge—142 million pounds so far this year ( as of today). Just four years ago, the industry only shipped 50 million pounds to China.
I visited with Daniel Chan and his colleagues Irene Zhou and Shirley Jiang, all with PR Consultants Ltd. in Shanghai. We met in City Shop a downtown grocery store catering to a strong middle class shoppers. We spoke about the strong almond sales and raisin sales throughout China.
I also met with Paramount Farm’s Anita Lam, in Shanghai. We talked about how the company’s Wonderful brand pistachios are selling briskly. Paramount Farms is responsible of changing a tradition in China, who normally bleached their pistachios turning them a very bright white, while altering there taste. Paramount is convincing the industry that natural roasted and salted pistachios taste better, and are better for Chinese consumers. It’s taking off in China!
Thanks to everyone who help arrange my meeting and were so dedicated to my success in China!
Folks: Go to www.pacificlegal.org to see what the Pacific Legal Foundation is doing about the devastating water cutbacks for California farmers.
The PFL had filed a lawsuit against the Federal Government declaring that protecting the Delta Smelt is unconstitutional. Following an adverse judgement by Federal Judge Oliver Wanger in Fresno, PLF is filing an appeal with the the Ninth Circuit Court.
PLF has strong evidence that Protecting the Smelt is Unconstitutional.
The image above is a Westlands Water District irrigation turnout in Western Fresno County, standing unbelievably dry for the second year in a row. This image was taken during the 2009 summer season, with thousands of acres of prime farm land laying dry and idle—nearing a potential new Dust Bowl. Additionally, growers are losing their livelihoods, and farm workers are unemployed—as many as 45 percent in some West Side communities. This is all due to a flawed biological opinion regarding the three-inch Delta Smelt.
Also, they are trying to convince the National Academy of Sciences to look at all stressors in the Delta, while reviewing the U.S. Fish and Game biological opinion, which is the linchpin causing the federal pumps to stay off during critical delivery times for growers in the spring and summer.
Again: go to www.pacificlegal.org to see what the Pacific Legal Foundation is doing and view important Press Conference information.
It’s happening and it’s good news! Rain and snowfall—about 85 percent of normal, and there is plenty of winter left to increase the rain and snowfall.
Let this be a fire-bell ringing in the night for the Federal Government who falsely think we are in a drought, and that is the reason why growers cannot farm on the West Side of the San Joaquin Valley.
FEDS: Do your part and allow the federal pumps to be turned on to provide critical water deliveries to the valley’s and cities of California—–INSTEAD OF LETTING ALL THE CRITICAL WATER GO OUT TO SEA!!
Without the pumps being on when farmers need the water, we have 40 percent-plus unemployment in the West Side communities—and thousands of acres of prime farm land, sitting idle.
I do hope the New Year will be good for all Western growers of all crops. The water year is shaping up good and hopefully will continue to fill the soil profiles of the west.
With a new rain and snow season upon us, let’s hope that we get hammered way beyond average. With a moderate El Nino present, we should definitely experience more rain and snow this season.
I just got home from the two-day Almond Industry Conference in Modesto, hosted by the Almond Board of California. More than 1800 almond growers and PCAs were there.
There was a trade show with many companies offering supplies and services for growers. Also there were great seminars with many University of California farm advisors and researchers speaking.
Good News: The almond industry is very healthy with Nov. exports hitting a record breaking 146 million pounds up 24 percent over Nov. 2009.
Prices are increasing for growers as well. 2010 should be another good year for the almond industry!
What is the current value of all California agricultural production? $43.5 billion
Does California truly feed the world?
California is the world’s fifth largest supplier of food, cotton fiber and other agricultural commodities. We produce more than 400 different crops—everything from world- renowned wines to specialty items such as almonds and raisins.
For the past 50 years, the men and women who work in California’s fertile fields have made this state the nation’s No. 1 agricultural producer and exporter. If it’s for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, it was probably grown right here in California.
What crops are primarily grown in California?
The Golden State is the nation’s sole producer (99 percent or more) of many specialty crops, such as: Almonds, Artichokes, Clingstone Peaches, Dried Plums (prunes), Figs, Garlic, Olives, Persimmons, Pistachios, Pomegranates, cannery tomatoes, Raisins, Sweet Rice and Walnuts.
How many farms are in California?
California has nearly 80,000 farms and ranches—less than four percent of the nation’s total, Yet, the Golden State’s agricultural production represents 13 percent of the nation’s total value.
What are some of the top crop values?
California’s top 20 crops and livestock commodities account for more than $28 billion in value. Each of the top 10 commodities exceed $1 billion in value.
- Milk and Cream
- Cattle and Calves
1. Fresno (grapes, almonds, tomatoes, poultry, cattle and calves) $6.6
How does California stack up in the nation’s dairy industry?
However, since 2008 California dairymen and women have suffered under low milk prices and high feed prices.
According to milk production data released early in 2013 by the California Department of food and Agriculture, the state’s diary farms lost $882 million in 2012. An average 1,000 cow dairy with an average per cow production of 23,457 pounds of milk, lost about $310,000 for the year.
Over the last two years, more than 200 California dairies of shut their doors.