California was experiencing a warm winter until recently, when cooler temperatures and rain brought about a cold start to spring. While this has caused a slowdown in the production of numerous current crops, growers of spring crops are waiting to see as to what extent their crops have suffered. Almond and cherry growers seem to have been the worst hit, and growers will be assessing the damage over the next few weeks. Almonds in particular are a high value crop for California, and the state is also a significant producer.
Almond growers wait for Detailed Analysis
Almond growers will be assessing their orchards over the next couple of weeks. Losses are likely, but it's too fast to put forward any digits in terms of volume. California's almond producers had been looking forward to a favourable season up until the cold weather hit.
Almond crops had definitely been damaged, as mentioned by Eddie Hernandez of Del Mar Farms. Over the forthcoming weeks, the farmers would be walking the orchards and produce estimates as to the extent of any loss. Early predictions are pointing to anywhere between a 5% - 18% downgrade on volumes. What is known is that the West side seems to have been less affected when compared with areas towards the East and South. It's definitely disappointing on their side as they were all set up to have a great bloom and there was a commendable early momentum in the market.
Dawn Sanders, of DePalma Farms, agreed, considering that the farmers further out appear to be affected extremely. She also put forward an important note that stone fruit seemed to have fled from all significant damage, with the exception of cherries. Some farmers have lost a lot of their crop. It is heard that growers out in places like Le Grand, Montpelier and Oakdale seemed to have suffered the most, but it will be a couple of more weeks yet until this can be assessed more accurately. The good news is that later stone fruit varieties appear to be undamaged, although there have been reports on damage to the cherry crop.