Drought present and future - The Packer

Drought present and future

04/18/2014 09:57:00 AM
The Packer Editorial Board

There’s a drought going on in California, but it hasn’t greatly affected the market.

Yet.

In mid-April, the Wall Street Journal ran a story about a study from Arizona State University forecasting price increases on about 10 fruits and vegetables grown in California this spring.

The study projected a loss of up to 200,000 acres of produce in the state due to the lack of water.

However, the study’s authors based that on statistics, projections and consumer media reports.

After talking to growers of many fruits and vegetables, we’ve found a less dramatic drought impact this year on plantings and supplies, but even bigger concern for future seasons if the drought continues.

Prices are a little higher this spring for many items out of California, and if demand remains the same, growers will likely benefit in the short term.

But it won’t be long until regional crops can replace California supplies, and with the local trend, we already know consumer demand will be there in late spring and summer.

Supply and demand being what they are, if California can’t produce what’s demanded in upcoming seasons, other areas will.

The California government has been hostile to growers, particularly with water allocation, and next year may be the year where the consequences are felt if this priority doesn’t change.

Growers can’t pump from wells indefinitely.

California would concede its share of the agriculture economy to other regions if it doesn’t allocate water differently.

Or it could rain.

Did The Packer get it right? Leave a comment and tell us your opinion.



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