Big change is on the way. The nation’s climate has been changing for the worst, according to the NPR. California holds the monopoly on growing pistachios and almonds. California grows 99% of America’s pistachios and 100% of the nation’s almonds and according to NPR those amounts that are grown every year are in danger of being seriously cut down.
For these nuts to successfully grow every year, the trees need “chill hours” or in non agricultural speak, the trees need a certain number of cold hours to reset for the next growing year. This process requires the winter months to reach a range of freezing to 45 degrees for an extended time, so that the tree goes dormant in preparation for budding of the flowers the next spring.
Studies have found that this process is becoming incomplete for up to 50% of the whole harvest in some farming areas, which means a drastic drop in nut production. This warming trend has been happening for the past four years and according to studies the pistachio and almond crops may be on their way out of certain areas in California for good as soon as the middle or end of this century.
Agricultural experts stated that these types of crops may have to move north to maintain their current output. With warmer weather settling in year after year, farmers may have to move their entire operations north or switch to a different kind of crop, such as tomatoes, which thrive in warmer fall weather.
You can’t help but feel concern for the nut farmers as this has been their way of life for many generations. It would cost money to move their whole operation further north, but what choice do they have? Move north and continue farming the same crop on which they know the yield and market prices or switch to a whole different crop with an unknown yield and the hopes of making the same amount of money. In plain English, global warming sucks for the farmers growing the crops and the consumers who will experience a shortage and end up paying more for less.
To read the whole article about the nut farmers pending plight, please click here.