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Drought Hurts California’s Pistachio Crop; Consumers Will Pay The Price

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Drought-starved pistachio field in California.

Drought-starved pistachio field in California.

The impact of California’s drought just keeps growing. One large Northern California pistachio producer says its crops are in trouble and you could pay the price, on your next trip to the store.

Thom Dille, CEO of Fiddyment Farms Pistachios in Roseville is very worried about the state’s water woes.

“I don’t have a crystal ball but I think this will be the worst year we’ve seen,” Said Dille.

The Placer County pistachio company produces two million pounds of nuts a year.

And while you’re just hearing about the drought now, Dille said farmers have been dealing with water problems for the past three years.

“We’ve had reduced water availability from our water supplier district,” said Dille.

This year, he adds, it’s cut back even more and costing a lot more money.

“It’s created a marketplace where farmers need to go out and buy additional water,” said Dille. “I’m paying 5 times the normal price for water.”

Dille said so far farmers aren’t passing down the cost to consumers, but eventually may have to.

“If this continues into next year who knows if there’s going to be any more water availability if it is there at all the price will probably be higher.”

And it’s not just pistachios. Dille said other California crops are going to suffer as well.

“If you drive down I-5 you’ll see they’re pulling almond trees out, and citrus trees out in the valley today.”

Their only hope is that the anticipated El Nino brings much needed rain this winter.

“We really need snowpack,” said Dille. “Snow is the salvation for everybody in California. “

Dille said water storage is the main issue farmers want addressed so the state can be better prepared to handle a drought.

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