Farmers Switching To Almonds

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(Modesto, CA)
Monday, October 17, 2005

With almonds selling for well over two dollars a pound in recent years, acreage has expanded. The Almond Board of California says there are currently over 620 thousand acres of the nuts, four percent more than last year.

The California Farm Bureau says in the last ten years farmers have uprooted nearly 300-thousand acres of crops such as tomatoes and cotton and have planted almond groves.
Christy Quaresma of the Almond Board says growers are simply following the money.

"Prices are high and we are in a position of having the demand actually exceeding the supply right now."

Mark Bagby of the Calcott Cotton Growers Cooperative says with cotton paying between 65 cents and a dollar thirty a pound, it's not surprising farmers are switching to almonds.

"Cotton prices have not risen in concert with the rise in production costs."

The Farm Bureau says cotton farmers are also concerned that federal price supports may be cut.
Almonds are California's fifth most valuable farm commodity.