California Commodity Weekly Ag Digest 3/16/2024

California Commodity
Weekly Ag Digest

You would think the rain would be good, but not if you’re growing strawberries. Many strawberry farmers in southern California say crops are delayed this year because of the heavy rainfall.  It normally takes 4-5 weeks to get from flower to fruit however the rain is making a longer growing cycle.  
Source:  KSWB
 Blue Diamond Growers confirmed it recently eliminated 38 corporate positions.  The layoffs come after a series of challenges facing the almond industry, including a 17% decline in revenue for Blue Diamond in its last fiscal year.  The industry saw prices fall to an average of $1.40/lb last season, the lowest prices have been in 20 years.  Source:  Sacramento Business Journal
 Central Valley almond grower Trinitas Farming, its investment organization and 17 subsidiary almond ranches have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection citing sustained record low almond prices, high interest rates and the rising cost of capital to allow time to reorganize its finances.  Its almond operation, covers 7,856 acres in Solano, Contra Costa, San Joaquin, Fresno and Tulare counties.  Source:  Capital Press
 Heavy rains and flooding in California pose a significant threat to the state's strawberry crop. There are concerns about potential damage to fields, delays in planting, and a decrease in strawberry production as a result of the adverse weather conditions.  Source:  RFDTV
 Maintaining good trade relations with China is critical for the U.S. pistachio industry, with USDA projecting Chinese imports of pistachios to more than double to 160,000 tons.  Source:  AgNet Media
 Despite facing numerous challenges, California citrus farmers are optimistic about the year ahead. Recent challenges include the impact of climate change, water shortage, labor shortages, and pests on the industry. However, farmers are implementing strategies to combat these challenges and anticipate a successful citrus season.  Source:  AgNet Media
 There has been an allocation of an additional $205 million in funding for the construction of Sites Reservoir in California. The reservoir aims to increase water supply reliability and enhance ecosystem health, providing numerous benefits to water users and the environment in the state.  Source:  AgNet Media
 According to UC researchers, crop water demand has doubled since 1980 with much of that increase attributed to climate change.  These changes are impacting water availability, resulting in increased expenses for water users. Effective water management strategies are essential to address these challenges.  Source:  Turlock Journal
 Dairy farmers are bagging silage to reduce spoilage by as much as 30 percent. It also increases nutrient value and milk production, improves herd health and potentially earns environmental carbon credits. It also allows for flexibility in harvest and storage, resulting in improved feed quality and minimized losses. Source:  AgriView
 A California grape growing legend, Ron Mansfield, has died.  He helped put El Dorado County and the Sierra foothills on the map as a wine destination and made wine that ended up in bottles made by some of California’s most respected wine producers.  Source:  San Francisco Chronicle
Shorter raspberry supply pushes up pricing.  The volume of raspberries is less than previous seasons. Overall raspberry conventional volume is about 25 percent less than same week (week 10) than last year, according to USDA data.  The major supplier of raspberries in the US right now is Mexico, with Southern California currently producing very little.  Source:  FreshPlaza
 Consumer demand for Ojai Pixie mandarins currently exceeds the available supply. The popularity of these mandarins is due to their unique flavor and easy-to-peel characteristics. Crop size is down, but fruit size is a bit larger than normal because there is less per branch.  Source:  Fresh Plaza
 An estimated 68% of US milk is produced on dairy farms with 1,000 or more cows.  The USDA conducts an Ag census every five years, and in 2022 the number of dairies with 2,500 or more cows was 834, up from 714 five earlier.  California had the highest number of large dairies at 255, followed by Texas with 83, Idaho with 62 and New Mexico with 61.  Source:  Farm Progress