Dave Heylen, vice president of communications for the California Grocers Association, Sacramento, said shortfalls in lettuce supply is not the kind of issue the association focuses on in their lobbying efforts.
“I’m sure it’s going to be a concern, but to what degree I’m sure it’s too early to tell,” Heylen said.
The Fresno County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office is reporting only 5,800 acres of lettuce will be planted in the county, down from 7,400 acres last year.
Thomas Nyberg, deputy agricultural commissioner, said the drought means growers who have permanent crops such as almonds or other tree nuts or fruit will be faced with using the little water they do have on preserving perennials over the seasonal lettuce they grow for other companies.
“It’s never been this low that I’m aware of,” Nyberg said.