The ongoing drought in California—with the driest year on record for the State following several prior years of drought—is likely to have a major impact on the State’s agricultural production in 2014. Despite a relatively recent series of major storms, long-term moisture deficits across most of the State remain at near-record levels. Because California is a major producer in the fruit, vegetable, tree nut, and dairy sectors, the drought has potential implications for U.S. supplies and prices of affected products in 2014 and beyond.
The following subpages describe the potential implications of the drought for California farms, crop and livestock production, and consumer food prices.
Current and Forthcoming USDA Data
Current USDA estimates of weather impacts on principal U.S. crops and livestock products are reflected in the monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report, the monthly Crop Production report, and the March Prospective Plantings report. USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released estimates of 2013 production of vegetable crops in the Vegetables Annual Summary in March 2014. Final 2013 NASS estimates for Noncitrus Fruits and Nuts are scheduled for July 2014, and 2013 and 2014 estimates for Citrus Fruits are scheduled in September 2014. In-season crop estimates for 2014 for selected fruits and nuts will be included in the monthly Crop Production reports during May-September 2014. ERS provides monthly updates of the Food Price Outlook.
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