Thursday, October 29, 2009

Adjusting to Change--California Cotton

A surprising, but true, paragraph from On the Record (tracks California water issues mostly):

MWD will not buy water from fallowed cotton because there is almost no cotton left in California. The decline has been going on for several years now.  People who are willing to opine in the paper should already know this.
San Diego will not buy water from fallowed rice because rice is getting good prices these days. It isn’t a low-value crop right now and rice farmers don’t want to sell. Even if rice farmers would sell, neither the state nor the feds have spare capacity to move non-project water across the Delta these days, and buyers aren’t tempted to buy water that might not get delivered.
When I started with USDA, the Southwest was big cotton country and California growers, the names of whom I'm having a senior moment for, were big payment recipients. Conversely, Southeast cotton was down, mostly because of the boll weevil.
Meanwhile, cotton growing in the Southeast has revived somewhat.

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