Eric Larson

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Delta Fix Affordability
San Diego Farm View
Eric Larson
Executive Director
San Diego County Farm Bureau
National Rankings
 #16 farm economy among all counties
 # 1 in nursery production
 # 1 in avocado production
 # 1 in number of small farms
 #1 in number of organic farms
 # 1 in farmers with off-farm income
San Diego’s Top Crops
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
Ornamental Trees and Shrubs
Indoor Plants
Bedding Plants
Avocados
Tomatoes
Eggs
Lemons
Cacti & Succulents
Herbaceous Perennials
Cut Flowers & Foliage
The Crop Profile
Fruit
21%
Vegetables
9%
Livestock & Poultry
4%
Nursery &
Floral
65%
Other
<1%
What Farming Means to the
Community
 Economic
 Sales and inputs
 Jobs
 Environmental




Air quality
Fire suppression
Open space
Wildlife corridors
 Community Character
 History
 Local products
 Ambiance
What Farming Means to
Water Sales
 Regional value as customers
 Easy to serve volume buyer
 Source of fixed fees
 Interruptible customer
 Potential for large volume recycled
water use
From 2001 to 2011 in San
Diego County
 Irrigated acreage down 16%
 61,000 to 51,000
 Crop value up 30%
 $1.3 billion to $1.7 billion
 Ag’s imported water use down 60%
 100,000 af to 40,000af
 Water price increased 190%
 $450/af to $1300/af
Adjustments Made by
Farmers
 Investment in conservation
 Reduction in planted acres
 Crop changes
 Increased production per acre
 More groundwater use
 Capture and reuse of irrigation water
Farm Water Challenges
 Efficiency has limits
 Crops need a level of irrigation or
production falls off precipitously
 Poor water quality requires more irrigation
 Price of inputs has no relationship to crop
sale price
 Every crop grown here is easily replaced
by production someplace else
Impacts of Rising Water
Prices
 Significant reduction in
water sales
 Tree fruit acreage taken
out of production
 Other crops now at risk
 Reluctance to make
new investments
Imported Water Price
Sensitivity
#1 Citrus
#2 Avocados
#3 Strawberries
#4 Vegetables
#5 Cut Flowers
#6 Nursery
What Farmers Must Do to
Afford the Delta Fix
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





Seek differential pricing
Invest in research
Take full advantage of technology
Change production practices
Casual farmers must go all-in
Consider alternate crops
Diversify
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