California drought continues to impact production

This weekend, the Sacramento Bee published a story about the impact of the California drought on our state's agriculture.California is the number agriculture state in the nation and is home to more specialty crops than any other state.

The story looked at a wide range of crops, including almonds, rice, pistachios, and citrus, noting that the extreme lack of water has drastically reduced production, with the impacts of the drought reverberating throughout the entire agriculture industry.

Key takeaways quoted in the story include:

  • "An estimated 420,000 acres of farmland went unplanted this year, or about 5 percent of the total. Economists at UC Davis say agriculture, which has been a $44 billion-a-year business in California, will suffer revenue losses and higher water costs – a financial hit totaling $2.2 billion this year."
  • "Richard Howitt, professor emeritus of agricultural economics, said he believes the drought ultimately will erase 17,000 jobs."
  • Harvest estimates reported in the story are as follows:

Rice: 140,000 fewer plantedacres than last year, a drop of 25 percent.

Almonds: Crop estimated at 1.9 billion pounds, down from 2 billion last year.

Corn: Production down by an estimated 45 percent.

Cotton: Acres planted shrank by 23 percent.

Oranges: Crop expected to decline 4 percent.

Grapes: Production expected to fall as much as 9 percent.

Wheat: Expected to fall 40 percent.

The full story is available here and is an informative read. Morrison continues to keep a close watch on the impacts of the drought and is unceasing in our prayers for rain!

About the Author
Toni Scott is the managing principal at Morrison. To get in touch with Toni, please find contact information for Morrison here.


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