California Thriving Despite Drought

Posted: Aug 14, 2015 4:00 PM
California Thriving Despite Drought

Despite California being plagued by four years of drought conditions, it still has proven to be resilient in revenue and agriculture production.

In fact, employment has risen drastically in California, setting an all time high for job records.

California has won back every job lost in the Great Recession and set new employment records. In the past year, California created 462,000 jobs-nearly 9,000 a week. No other state came close.

Since California is an agricultural superpower, all of these jobs are demanding produce.

[California] produces roughly half of all the fruits, nuts, and vegetables consumed in the United States—and more than 90 percent of the almonds, tomatoes, strawberries, broccoli and other specialty crops—while exporting vast amounts to China and other overseas customers.

And with all of this great production comes increased revenue.

Gross farm revenue from crop production actually increased by one-fifth of 1 percent last year, to $33.09 billion, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The revenue figures don’t take into account animal agriculture, such as beef and dairy production.

So what role does the drought play into this produce consumption?  For Governor Jerry Brown, the drought is on the top of his list for the Water Action Plan, leading him to spend $10 million to help farmers implement more efficient water management. Also, an additional $10 million was allocated as part of the $1.1 billion drought spending plan Brown and bipartisan legislator’s unveiled last week.

Lucky for consumers, they will not be noticing any extreme price hikes in their agriculture.

“Consumers mostly won’t notice at all,” UC Davis farm economist Daniel Sumner said. “Your California rolls might be a nickel more expensive because the price of rice became more expensive.”