Crops News

California almond growers brace for freezing temps


California almond growers are facing a challenging week ahead as temperatures are expected to drop below freezing, threatening damage to blooming orchards and developing crops. All almond varieties are at significant risk for loss when overnight temperatures reach 28 degrees and below.

While the conditions can vary from the North to South Central Valley, actual losses are dependent on the minimum temperatures experienced, the length of time at minimum temperatures, the crop’s stage of development, and availability of frost control measures.

“With almonds being the first flowering crop and extremely susceptible to frost, we are deeply concerned for our grower-owners and all California farmers who are affected by these freeze conditions,” said Mark Jansen, President and CEO of Blue Diamond Growers. “Farmers assume tremendous risk with each season depending on weather, markets, and changes in government policy. This freeze reminds us how important it is for farmers to be able to save during the good years in order to survive the tough years.”

The current weather conditions could have an impact on all segments of the almond industry and Blue Diamond is continuing its work to ensure family farms are sustainable during these challenging weather events. The recent Tax Cut and Jobs Act and the 2018 Farm Bill are critical components in helping farmers prepare for uncertain times.

“Blue Diamond’s efforts on the Tax Cut and Jobs Act was so important as it provided tax relief to the family farmers who own this co-op,” said Mr. Jansen. “As big agricultural companies keep their tax break and negotiate the elimination of the new section 199A, we must remember that farmers bare all the risk. We suggest extending the 199A tax relief to all farmers.”

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