Recently there has been a broad mischaracterization about agriculture in the state: the claim that California farmers have not shared in the sacrifice caused by this drought.
As Brad Gleason, an almond grower, notes in his recent op-ed published by the Los Angeles Times, farmers are an adaptable group, relying on an intimate knowledge of the land and an innate desire to innovate, which in the almond industry, has led to a 33% increase in water efficiency over the past two decades.1
Our legacy in California shouldn’t be overlooked, knowing that more than 90 percent of almond farms are family farms, many owned and run by third and fourth generation California farmers, who know we have an inherent responsibility to protect this land for our sons, daughters and grandchildren.2
Take a moment to read Brad’s piece and approach the drought with an understanding that we must work together to determine a viable future for the use of California’s water.
1. UC Drought Management – Historical Almond ET, see and Goldhamer, David. 2012. Almond in Group Yield Response to Water. FAO irrigation and Drainage Paper No. 65, P. Steduto, T.C. Hsiao, E. Fereres, and D. Raes, eds. Food and Agricultural Organzation of the United Nations, Rome, Italy, pp. 246-296.
2. USDA 2012 Census of Agriculture - http://www.agcensus.usda.gov/Publications/2012/Full_Report/Volume_1,_Chapter_1_US/