In a severe drought, California farmers tear precious almond trees

An uprooted almond tree destroyed due to water scarcity lies in a field in Huron, California in July 2021.

Crushed by the devastating drought and new water limits, Daniel Hartwig had no choice but to pull thousands of precious and fragrant almond trees from his California farm.

“It breaks your heart.” He sighed while exploring his former vibrant landscape — curled over the shrunken shell that would have been the almond harvest this year. The yellow leaves water Arrived.

Their exposed roots have already begun to rot and become powdery, and temperatures of about 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius) this summer morning accelerate their decomposition.

Moving between them is a giant machine that transforms the “beautiful prime” of the Heart Wig. almond “Wood” into a large pile of wood chips.

“Brutal shock”

“It’s a sudden brutal shock,” said the farmer.

Hartwig is responsible for water management of the Mega Property of Woolf Farm, which covers more than 20,000 acres (8,000 hectares) of land around Huron, a small market town.

This is the first time that so many trees had to be uprooted before the farm reached the end of its life.

From drip irrigation systems to state-of-the-art sensors installed throughout the facility, everything is designed to optimize water use.

However, almond trees are very thirsty, a valley that is severely lacking in water.

The dry, wrinkled almond husks on the uprooted tree are all the rest of what would have been this year's crop-there was a water bee.

Dry, wrinkled almond husks on uprooted trees are all the rest of what would have been this year’s crop if water had been available.

After years of very low rainfall and a particularly dry winter, California authorities stopped tapping farmers. In April, after a series of calculations, the farm had to face difficult facts.

There is not enough water on the market to keep the almonds. ” wood Alive, said Hartwig. “It’s certainly a pain to make these changes.”

And justification: California’s almond market is worth nearly $ 6 billion annually.

“Bad guys”

California produces 80% of the almonds consumed worldwide. The market has doubled in 15 years due to demand for alternatives to animal foods such as almond milk.

Woolf farm almonds travel to India or Australia. But is that era over?

“There is a perception that farmers are here to waste water,” said Hartwig, putting his hand in his jeans pocket. “It makes us hear us as bad guys.”

  • “There isn’t enough water in the market to keep the almond trees alive,” said Daniel Hartwig, water manager for the Wolf Farm megaproperty.

  • This is the first time Woolf Farms had to uproot so many trees before they reached the end of their lives.

    This is the first time Wolf Farm had to uproot so many trees before it reached the end of its life.

  • California's almond industry is worth $ 6 billion annually and supplies 80% of the nuts consumed worldwide, while trees

    California’s almond industry is worth $ 6 billion annually and supplies 80% of the nuts consumed worldwide, but trees are thirsty and water is scarce in some parts of the Western Province. increase.

To irrigate the crops they managed to preserve, Woolf Farms pumps water found deep underground.

“We are very proud to be able to feed the world from here,” he said.

“Where does the food come from if there is no tool to do that?” He asked.

Driving the land as wide as possible, Hartwig pointed to a series of fallows.

“Almost all of this farm“Now it’s just a patchwork of crops,” he said.

He sighed. “We did everything we could.”

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© 2021 AFP

Quote: In a severe drought, California farmers acquired precious almonds from on August 5, 2021. Tear a tree (August 5, 2021)

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