The drought in California is affecting almond growers, to the point where supplies are becoming less certain and prices are rising.
California is home to 80% of the world’s almond production, and it’s in the midst of a severe drought. Almonds are a water-intensive crop, and the drought is motivating almond farmers to put plans for expansion on hold and even bulldoze trees when there’s not enough water for them.
“We foresee an end of the unconstrained growth in almond supply,” the CEO of Blue Diamond Growers told the Wall Street Journal.
The situation comes when almonds are more popular than ever, due especially to the prevalence of almond milk. U.S. almond production rose from 1.6 billion pounds in 2010 to 3.1 billion last year. Almond Breeze milk, Blue Diamond’s most popular product, had sales of more than $800 million last year.
Experts predict that almond production will shift to more water-secure parts of the state. Blue Diamond executives told the Journal that the company probably will cut down on its bulk exports to have more almonds available for processing.