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  • Dec 14, 2022

Almond growers hope for a better 2023, after ‘toughest’ year

California’s almond sector is hoping for a more prosperous 2023 after a year of drought, water shortages, supply chain disruptions and inflationary pressures. Almond Board of California President and CEO Richard Waycott told the organization’s 50th annual conference in Sacramento that this year was “probably the toughest we’ve had as an industry.” California’s almond acreage decreased in 2022 for the first time in more than 25 years, with some growers toppling trees due to the third year of drought.

Demand returning for dairy products, despite increased costs

Demand for California dairy products is increasing as normal for the holiday season, despite inflation that has spiked costs of many dairy offerings. While general inflation in 2022 reached a 40-year high of 8.5%, dairy products experienced far-higher price increases. Butter, for example, was up by more than 26% in October compared to a year ago. Despite higher prices, movement of dairy products has been picking up in recent months, as holiday-season baking boosts sales, according to the Dairy Institute of California. 

Firms help farmers transition to organic production

California Certified Organic Farmers and other organic certifiers are helping growers with paperwork, inspections and logistics to transition to organic production. To be certified as organic growers, producers must go through a three-year transition in which they stop using synthetic fertilizers, pesticides or other prohibited materials. During the transition, their crops can’t command price premiums of organic products. The number of U.S. farms transitioning to organic has dropped 71% since 2008. 

Researchers study light spectrum for pairing crops with solar panels

University of California, Davis, researchers are studying the efficiency of agrivoltaics, in which crops are grown in the shade of solar panels. In a study published in the journal Earth’s Future, researchers found that certain parts of the light spectrum are better for growing plants, while other parts are best suited for solar production. Their analysis suggests that solar energy is produced more efficiently with the blue part of the light spectrum, while the red part is better for plants. The research could help improve solar and crop production systems.

Happy holidays from the California Farm Bureau

Food and Farm News will be on hiatus through the remainder of the holiday season and will resume on Jan. 4, 2023. Contact us at 916-561-5552; email; connect with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram: @CAFarmBureau.