California agriculture

You visit the grocery store or local farmer's market. Picture your favorite vegetable. to get it into your hands, it's possible a farm worker had to first pick it with theirs. 

But as Capital Public Radio's Nadine Sebai explains, many California farmers are struggling to find workers, especially in the so-called "Salad Bowl of the World."


It's avocado season in California, but many farmers are in toruble.  They don't have enough workers to pick and maintain Hass avocados, which are in high demand.  Reporter Nadine Sebai explains the challenge facing farmers who rely on human labor.

Californians will vote this fall on whethr to strengthen the state's laws governing how fam animals are confined and raised.  As Capital Puyblic Radio's Ben Adler reports, the proposed measure that qualified for the November ballot builds on a previous voter-approved initiative - and a separate state law.

What A Trade War With China Could Mean For California

Mar 27, 2018

Following President Trump's proposal to slap tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminum exports, China may retaliate by levying $2 billion in tariffs on U.S. agricultural exports.  Capital Public Radio's Julia Mitric has more on what that could mean for California.

A new bill in Congress to reform biofuel policy and favor newer options over ethanol is attracting support from conservation groups.  More from KVCR's Isel Cuapio.

A judge ordered the California Department of Agriculture to stop spraying dozens of pesticides.  Some environmental groups count this as a win.  However, a UC Riverside researcher warns the move to stop the spraying will hurt efforts to fight a damaging citrus disease.  Capital Public Radio's Julia Mitric has more.

Climate change could decrease the yield of some crops in the state by up to 40 percent by 2050. Capital Public Radio's Ezra David Romero reports on research that suggests warming temperatures are altering the world of agriculture. 

Fast-food chicken nuggets come with extra calories and extra salt, but they might also come with "superbugs," or drug-resistant bacteria.  Capital Public Radio's Sammy Caiola explains.

As California's wine grape harvest gets under way, most of it will be done by machine.  But as growers face ongoing labor shortages, mechanization isn't a cure-all.  Capital Public Radio's Julia Mitric reports.


The discovery of a diseased grapefruit tree in Riverside on July 25 has officials considering how to alert the public to the potential devastation the disease could wreak across Southern California.  More form KVCR's Ken Vincent.

UC Cooperative Extension

In Fresno, almond orchards bloom in late winter.  Bee hives are brought in for pollination.  But this year, something went wrong.  Now, county agriculture officials are investigating the deaths of hundreds of thousands of honeybees.  Capital Public Radio's Julia Mitric has part one of a two-part story.

On his first weekday in office yesterday (Monday), President Trump made good on a campaign promise by abandoning the Trans-Pacific Partnership.  The trade pact negotiated by former President Obama involved 11 nations.  As Julia Mitric reports from Sacramento, economic experts don't agree on what the move means for the state's farm industry.

From almonds to dairy products, California exports 20 percent of what it produces.  Federal trade policy has a huge impact on state agricultural exports.  In spite of many unknowns, one agriculture industry leader has an optimistic outlook about what a Trump administration would do on trade.  Capital Public Radio's Julia Mitric reports.

California Citrus Fights Back

Jul 7, 2016
UC Riverside


On the outskirts of Northern San Bernardino you’ll find remnants of a citrus empire. Arnott Farms is just one of the many groves in Southern California. From an outsider’s point of view, it looks completely normal, but as you move inwards you’ll notice the leaves.

Farmers in California's Central Valley have left more than one million acres of agricultural land idle all year long.  As Capital Public Radio's Amy Quinton reports, that's more than double the amount before the drought.

The drought is changing the size and flavor of California's fruit.  Capital Public Radio's Lesley McClurg explains.

This summer, the largest organic strawberry grower in the country has pledged to grow all of its baby plants organically.  Strawberry seedlings -- even organic ones --can be cultivated in soil that's been chemically fumigated.  Capital Public Radio's Lesley McClurg explains. 

A new UC Davis study projects the fourth year of drought in California will cost the overall economy 2.7-billion dollars.  But as Capital Public Radio's Amy Quinton reports, the study's authors say agriculture remains remarkably resilient in spite of the drought.

New state and federal funding will provide relief for farmworkers hurt by California's drought.  The U.S. Department of Labor is providing 18 million dollars and the state is providing 7.5 million.  Capital Public Radio's Lesley McClurg has more.

Drought Increasing Costs For Citrus Growers

Jul 24, 2015
Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio

Citrus prices could increase as the influence of the drought grows for California farmers. KVCR's Rick Dulock reads this report from Capital Public Radio.

Walnuts are one of the highest value crops in California - bringing in almost two billion dollars every year. But keeping the crops free of destructive insects can be costly. Scientists are now trying to determine if walnut growers could reduce pest control costs by employing hungry bats. Amy Quinton reports from Capital Public Radio.

More and more California growers are using smartphone apps to streamline their farming operations.  Capital Public Radio's Lesley McClurg has more.

In 2008, Californians passed a law by a two-thirds majority to create more humane conditions for egg-laying hens.  Farmers have had the last seven years to make enough space for chickens to spread their wings.  Capital Public Radio's Lesley McClurg went to the hen house to see how your vote is playing out.

How The Drought Is Changing Agriculture In California

Jun 22, 2015
Lesley McClurg, Capital Public Radio

Water scarcity is driving farmers to plant different crops.  Growers are switching to more profitable and less thristy fruits, vegetables, and nuts.  Capital Public Radio's Lesley McClurg reports on how the drought is changing agriculture in California.

Because of California's historic drought, the state's rice crop will be 30 percent below normal -- at 375,000 acres.  Experts say the smaller planting will hurt the economy and wildlife that depend on shallow flooded fields.  Capital Public Radio's Lesley McClurg has more.

The days of guesswork in breeding dairy cattle are gone.  Today's DNA sequencing means more productive cows and less pollution.  Capital Public Radio's Lesley McClurg explains.

Populations of the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug are increasing in seven counties around California, including Los Angeles County.  The pest can inflict significant damage on fruit and vegetable crops, but Capital Public Radio's Lesley McClurg says there are ways to keep the bug from spreading.

Water experts at UC Davis say the drought will be worse this year for California agriculture.  Capital Public Radio's Ed Joyce reports.

How Wasting Food Wastes Water

Jun 3, 2015

Most of California's water is directed to agriculture, so when we throw away food, we're essentially wasting water.  Capital Public Radios' Lesley McClurg offers a few tips to extend the life of your groceries.