California's Cropland Prices Defy Drought

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California, drought, almonds, California drought, cropland, cropland values, California cropland values

They say California is a place of extremes. Its climate is no exception. Almond growers can attest to this reality after facing the state’s worst drought in over a century. One gallon of water is required to produce a single almond, and over 80% of the state’s almond growers utilize demand-based irrigation. Irrigated land is prized. Strangely enough, overall cropland values actually increased faster than irrigated cropland since 2012. But water scarcity is the great equalizer. So why did cropland values keep rising in the first place? Turns out, greater farmland investment coupled with rising producer prices for California commodities immunized land values to the price decline seen elsewhere across the US. With recently improving soil moisture and falling producer prices, California cropland could soon face a more wobbly future.

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