As drought grips many of California’s prime agricultural areas, its two top-grossing crops are positioned well to pull through, much as they did during the last prolonged dry spell in the mid-2010s. Grapes and almonds, which since 2004 have been the state's top sellers, both have some natural drought tolerance thanks to their origins in the Mediterranean climate where recurring aridity is expected. But in California, their success is also tied to irrigation.
The Almond Board of California has hired Rick Kushman as the new manager of media relations and Valerie Shepler has joined the staff of Fall Creek Farm and Nursery as a commercial manager for the U.S. and Canada territories.
Farm and environmental groups that often disagree on ag policy are urging the Agriculture Department to prioritize climate change in conservation programs and to consider changes to crop insurance that would promote the use of cover crops and other carbon-conserving practices.
The Agriculture Department continues to insist that working lands will be included in the Biden administration’s goal of conserving 30% of the nation’s land and waters by 2030, as the administration prepares to flesh out some of the details of its 30x30 initiative.