Elderly Batanwood trees are being felled in California as the state's fruit and vegetable industry i

Issuing time:2021-06-29 11:54


More than 80 percent of the western United States is in the grip of drought, and nearly half of the country is in "extreme" drought, foreign media reported. In California, reservoir levels are half as low as usual, and earlier this month, the Hoover Dam, the largest reservoir in the United States, reached its lowest level on record, and agricultural production is expected to suffer. According to the New York Times, the secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture expects that at least 500,000 acres of agricultural land will not be farmed this year. The drought could affect food supplies and lead to higher prices.

Irrigation water is the lifeblood of California agriculture, dependent on it for all of the state's vegetable and berry plantations, as well as 98 percent of its orchards. California's largest crop by volume is grapes, including wine grapes and table grapes, with a total value of $4.45 billion. It is followed by Badanwood, with an annual output of $4.35 billion. Bardans use more water to grow than grapes and many vegetables, requiring about a gallon of water per plant.

With more than 69,000 farms, California produces more than a third of the nation's vegetables and two-thirds of its fruit. The state produces 80 percent of the world's padangu. Years of drought have led some growers to cut existing older trees and replace them with younger trees or other crops that use less water to reduce the amount of water needed to grow them. Batam trees typically live 25 years, and would have survived at least one or two more growing seasons had it not been for drought.

According to Gro Intelligence, the drought will have an impact on crop production and prices in California. The drought has pushed up irrigation costs, and yields of broccoli, strawberries, lettuce and other fruits and vegetables have plummeted because of water shortages. Tree crops such as almonds, avocados and citrus are particularly vulnerable to drought. It's hard to say how much higher crop prices will end up being, but avocado prices are up nearly 10% since last year, meaning prices for products like nuts and even padam milk will look bullish if the harvest continues to be weak.

Most of California's precipitation comes in the winter, and the period from May to April was the driest on record. Summertime is usually hot and dry in the western United States, and the drought will continue for months.

Image credit: Gizmodo

2021 International Fruit and Vegetable Report. All rights reserved

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