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Audio ActualityHow pistachio production affects the overall economy
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» March 9, 2011 «
Rising fuel prices have caused some California farmers to reassess their planting plans. For example, farmers say they may switch to crops that require less irrigation, in order to save the cost of diesel fuel used to power groundwater pumps. Other farmers say they may switch from vegetables to crops with more predictable yields and market prices, such as corn and cotton. Fuel costs can also affect the price of fertilizer and other materials.
Expanding pistachio production in the West has also expanded economic activity in the region, according to a new report. The Western Pistachio Association said pistachio growers create more than $680 million dollars in business activity, as they grow their crops in California, Arizona and New Mexico. The study indicates that pistachio production accounts for the equivalent of nearly 6,000 full-time jobs.
Precipitation in the Colorado River Basin continues to be above average for the current water year. Electronic sensors show overall precipitation at 121 percent of average in March. The Colorado River provides a key source of water for Southern California, and has experienced drought conditions since 1999. Although rain and snow remain above average, they're not as strong as they were earlier in the season.
Farm exporters say they're encouraged by a tentative agreement to end a long-running trade dispute between the United States and Mexico. Presidents of the two nations announced the deal last week, involving access for Mexican trucks on U.S. roads. In response to the dispute, Mexico has imposed trade tariffs on a range of California farm products, affecting exports of a number of the state's fruit, vegetable and nut crops.Top