Ag Today July 10, 2018

California Almond Farmers Brace for China Tariffs

POSTED 7:21 PM, JULY 9, 2018, BY Fox 40

STANISLAUS COUNTY — Almond farmers have faced freezing temperatures, drought and other uncertainty over the years.

Yet, despite the setbacks, according to the Department of Agriculture, the late July harvest is expected to be record-breaking. But challenges lie ahead.

“Every farmer’s going to feel it. To the extent, a little bit yet to be determined,” said almond farmer Jake Wenger.

The ongoing trade war with China and the president’s threat to raise tariffs with the country could mean potential hardships on farmers.

“I don’t know that the impacts will be great enough to push people out of the market or to tear out orchards and plant something else,” Wenger said.

The Almond Board of California reports China is the second largest export market for the fruit.

Come what may, father and son growers Paul and Jake Wenger, whose farms economically support at least eight families, say they’re prepared.

“If we have a good year then the next year I have a little bit of a cushion for that year,” Paul Wenger said.

The board adds almond farmers and processors support 104,000 jobs in the state, 97,000 of which are in the Central Valley alone.

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