Grimmway Farms may be following through on a threat to leave California due to the high cost of farming in the state. Grimmway leads the world in carrot production and is one of the country’s top organic producers, managing 50,000 acres of vegetables.
The family-owned company is exploring opportunities to lease its farmland and sell its Kern County operation, which generates about $130 million in annual earnings and could be worth 10 times as much, according to business news outlet Mergermarket.
“We’re regulated to death,” Grimmway President Jeff Huckaby told Agri-Pulse in 2019. “California is by far the most difficult state to deal with that we farm in out of seven states.”
Huckaby said one of the biggest factors is the extra cost for bringing H-2A guestworkers to the state. In other states, the lower cost of doing business balances out the H-2A expenses. This is compounded in California by the minimum wage increase and a lack of workers. Huckaby also noted the rising cost of water due to the implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.