Despite record setting year for almond crop, Valley growers faced with uncertainty

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- In an escalating trade war, the looming threat of retaliatory tariffs is sparking uncertainty for the Valley's Ag industry.

Fresno County Farm Bureau CEO Ryan Jacobsen says, "hopefully there's very little collateral damage but obviously as it carries on and not knowing whether the consumer is going to pay that extra dollar in foreign countries. There is that hesitation out there.

There are "non-tariff" barriers that California farmers, growers and producers face with other countries. Those restrictions include product-specific quotas, embargoes, sanctions and product standards. So there is hope negotiations will work in their favor.

Jacobsen adds, "there's a lot of concern about what's going on but there's optimism that through this situation we may get some better situations or better terms than we currently have."

As for the Valley's cash crop. The USDA's National Agriculture Statistical Service is forecasting a record-breaking almond crop for California. Estimating roughly 2.45 billion pounds. That's enough almonds to fill more than three Empire State buildings.

Jacobsen adds, "so much of the Ag industry has been driven by the almond because of the success of the almond. It really has increased Land values it's been the driver of an alternative for crops for farmers to consider."

Michael Kelley with the Central California Almond Growers Association says prices we see at checkout will likely not be impacted because the demand matches the supply "that's because thanks to the good work of many people in the industry we have found new avenues for product to go overseas and into export markets that we never had before."

He adds when it comes to tariffs, its only uncertainty that can dampen the market.
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