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The almond state

By Ezra Klein

I grew up in California, and so am slightly ashamed that I didn't know this:

California now produces close to 80 percent of the world's almonds, around 70 percent of which it exports. It's the state's largest food-crop export by a wide margin, surpassing not only other tree nuts like walnuts and pistachios, but also heavy hitters like dairy products and wine.

By Ezra Klein  | November 1, 2010; 11:08 AM ET
 
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Comments

yep, lots of nuts

Posted by: bdballard | November 1, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

yep, lots of nuts

Posted by: bdballard | November 1, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

well, if by the grace of G-d, brown and boxer should be victorious (and beth krom, to replace john campbell) crossing fingers... then, we can safely say that the nuts here, are on the trees.:-)
here is hoping for sanity at our polls tomorrow.

good luck to brown, boxer and krom

Posted by: jkaren | November 1, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

So if I'm doing the math right, California *consumes* at least 24% of the world's almonds? That's incredible. Also a big strike against moving to CA in the future -- I hate almonds.

Posted by: AaronSVeenstra | November 1, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

A consequence of this: every year, around 20 billion bees need to be trucked and flown into the state to pollinate the almond orchards.

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1884835,00.html

Honey bees aren't native to the US, and all the crops that require bee pollination are agricultural or ornamental transplants. There's been plenty of speculation that these million-hive pollination efforts contributed to the rise and spread of colony-collapse disorder.

Posted by: pseudonymousinnc | November 1, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Those of us who live in large metropolitian areas especially in NY and CA forget about how large a part of the economy agriculture is. In NY most people think the financial sector is the largest sector of the economy when actually it is agriculture.

Posted by: MerrillFrank | November 1, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

If I'm doing the math right, Californians eat 18 times more almonds than the average human. How do you guys pull that off? Are they in school lunches? Is everyone putting almond milk on their cereal? Seriously, wow!

Posted by: tomveiltomveil | November 1, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Btw, there's been scientific progress on the colony collapse disorder affecting bees across the US, including those flown in to California to pollinate almond trees. It appears a virus and fungus have been tag-teaming the bees.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/07/science/07bees.html

It's unclear whether such large concentrations of bees from such disparate areas is to blame for the spread, but the current research doesn't rule this out yet.

Posted by: enormousturnip | November 1, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Drive through the central valley of California these days and you'll pass mile after mile of dead almond groves. No water for them because the flow has been stopped to protect the delta smelt (a fish, not an odor). Signs along the I-5 through the valley blame Boxer for this mess (strangely, Feinstein was able to get some more water released just before the primaries in June). If Boxer is defeated tomorrow, the central valley voters will play a key role in her defeat.

By "export", I assume the article means out of the country, not out of California.

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