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heidih

Future of Agriculture in California

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I live in one of the most significant agriculture states in the US. Yes we are your avocados, your citrus, almost all of your almonds- I could go on. This site which seems oddly Brit in language is quite interesting. Mostly odd to me that they felt a need to spend $ and promote the obvious?

 

https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/agvision/docs/AgVision_2017.pdf

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Don't get me started on vision statements, particularly when a government agency does them. Much fluffing up and proclamation, and damn little meat on the bones.

 

I'm very curious about the future of agriculture in CA, given the water availability situation. Not so much the almonds and avocadoes, but more the lettuces, grapes, fruits of the Central Valley. We have three major commercial growing areas for those crops in the US, and two of them are running short on water. I live in an area in nearly the same latitude, which is very economically depressed, and which has an abundance of water. It's a potential economic driver I'm looking at for the Lower Mississippi Valley, and I think it has the potential to turn this part of the nation around.

 

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yup- frightening, real, and not sure how to feel about future

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On 1/28/2018 at 11:59 AM, kayb said:

I'm very curious about the future of agriculture in CA, given the water availability situation. Not so much the almonds and avocadoes, but more the lettuces, grapes, fruits of the Central Valley. We have three major commercial growing areas for those crops in the US, and two of them are running short on water. I live in an area in nearly the same latitude, which is very economically depressed, and which has an abundance of water. It's a potential economic driver I'm looking at for the Lower Mississippi Valley, and I think it has the potential to turn this part of the nation around.

 

I'm curious too, and worried. I grew up in the Central Valley, in a citrus farming family.  I still have friends who do that.  Water is a problem.  The answer so far, after the water conservation changes made a couple of decades ago, seems to be to drill deeper wells - which they have done.  We know that can't continue forever.  I wonder whether there will be a reverse Dust Bowl episode that will drive 'my' people back to Oklahoma and Arkansas?  @kayb, the latitude is not the only issue, as you know; the climate is also a factor - and of course, that's changing.  Can citrus and stone fruits do well in your area?  I have only heard of satsumas in Louisiana, but I may not have paid close enough attention.

 

The article in SLB's link is a good one, and agrees with what I've heard with regard to the Resnicks.

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Don't get me started—seems there's much 'talking the talk' and little 'walking the walk.'

Needs to be much more focus on permaculture/perennial agriculture and the like in areas that can support it—not areas where resources are scare and so unpredictable.

Where are the armies of the concerned ? Why are they not out planting millions or billions of useful plants? 

Me thinks, there's a lot of emotion involved and very little devotion. 

 

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If Mississippi and similar wet states would make it attractive, the growers would show up 

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kayb is workin on it ;)

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20 hours ago, gfweb said:

If Mississippi and similar wet states would make it attractive, the growers would show up 

There are two issues at play. One, there's no infrastructure for it. No canneries, no freezer plants. And you can't entice anyone to build one if they don't see a ready supply of fruits and veggies to feed into it. That's why I'm trying to focus initially on getting fresh produce production started; less point-of-origin infrastructure needed, just refrigerated transport, and we have plenty of access to that.

 

The second issue is somewhat more problematic. Traditional economic development incentives have been geared toward manufacturing and distribution, and more recently toward technology. Very little out there for agri producers unless there's a value-added segment (canning, freezing) in the production chain. Trying to get THAT locomotive to change direction is...not easy.

 

But yeah, I'm working on it. I needed a new windmill at which to tilt, anyway.

 

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23 hours ago, gfweb said:

If Mississippi and similar wet states would make it attractive, the growers would show up 

 

ANYONE can be a grower!!!

Heck, I've posted about it MANY times, here and elsewhere—about me getting rid of ALL inedibles in my yard and replacing them with edibles, etc.—there's almost NO interest!

Seems—the view, almost always is—someone else who should be doing the work!

I don't get it! 

:S

 

 

 

 


Edited by DiggingDogFarm (log)
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On 2/6/2018 at 7:53 PM, Smithy said:

 

I'm curious too, and worried. I grew up in the Central Valley, in a citrus farming family.  I still have friends who do that.  Water is a problem.  The answer so far, after the water conservation changes made a couple of decades ago, seems to be to drill deeper wells - which they have done.  We know that can't continue forever.  I wonder whether there will be a reverse Dust Bowl episode that will drive 'my' people back to Oklahoma and Arkansas?  @kayb, the latitude is not the only issue, as you know; the climate is also a factor - and of course, that's changing.  Can citrus and stone fruits do well in your area?  I have only heard of satsumas in Louisiana, but I may not have paid close enough attention.

 

The article in SLB's link is a good one, and agrees with what I've heard with regard to the Resnicks.

On 2/7/2018 at 9:31 PM, DiggingDogFarm said:

 

ANYONE can be a grower!!!

Heck, I've posted about it MANY times, here and elsewhere—about me getting rid of ALL inedibles in my yard and replacing them with edibles, etc.—there's almost NO interest!

Seems—the view, almost always is—someone else who should be doing the work!

I don't get it! 

:S

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, we grow lots of stone fruit, and no, no (or very little) citrus. I think we might could manage citrus in high-tunnel greenhouses.

 

Re: use of space and "anyone can be a grower." I was amazed and impressed in Japan to see almostvall single family homes outside the cities using every square inch of yard space for fruit and vegetable production. I loved it.

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1 hour ago, kayb said:

Yes, we grow lots of stone fruit, and no, no (or very little) citrus. I think we might could manage citrus in high-tunnel greenhouses.

 

Re: use of space and "anyone can be a grower." I was amazed and impressed in Japan to see almostvall single family homes outside the cities using every square inch of yard space for fruit and vegetable production. I loved it.

I'm not old enough to have experienced this myself, but I do recall my parents talking about "Victoria Gardens" during WWII. When we lived in Colorado at 7200 feet it wasn't possible to grow all our own food--hell, I spent 29 years trying to grow a decent tomato--but  I did fill the freezer with green beans, which was about all that would grow reliably with a 115-day growing season. You'd think that would be enough time, but if about a third  of those nights get down below 40 it takes most of the next day to recover. Winter squash was problematic most years. Potatoes and onions worked well. Carrots and beets, chard, spinach, leeks, broccoli and cauliflower (if you could keep it under row covers for insect protection)--those sorts of crops worked OK most years.

 

Now I live in a place where I can buy just about anything I want in the mercado, so the incentive for planting a garden is greatly reduced. Though I don't really have space for it here. Thus far we have had no problems with water, and a lot of Michoacán produce ends up in the US. Right now there's an explosion of berry production--strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and blueberries--all destined for US and foreign markets. Driscoll and Dole are buying a lot of berries and probably own most of the fields.

 

But I still miss having a garden. I may have to rip out some of the excess bouganvilleas and start growing my own.

 

We have all gotten used to finding whatever we want, whenever we want it, all year round. Strawberries in January even though they taste like styrofoam, kiwis from New Zealand, grapes from Chile--I'm as guilty as anyone. Water will continue to be the most important factor in the future. The conflict between agricultural and domestic use isn't going away anytime soon. Those of us who grew up in the western US know all too well how this will play out. South Africa sounds as if they will have to work out that dilemma sooner rather than later, because people need water to drink and wash with, and the agricultural users need it also. This is why there are more water lawyers in Colorado than in any other part of the US. However, if it's not raining in South Africa the problem is the same for everyone, farmers and homeowners alike.

 

Nancy in Pátzcuaro

 

 

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