Growth of the new plantings continues to be very good, and despite some brutal weather again this season of up to 50 degrees, the trees have survived and are even thriving. Windbreaks were planted last year and have also protected the young trees this season.
Water continues to be a challenge, with the temporary market seeing prices at their highest levels since the millennium drought. Like many growers, I am frustrated at the poor oversight and lack of transparency of the water market and have been lobbying for an improvement in how this managed. Fundamentally, a critical resource like water should not be controlled by a free-for-all market full of predatory players with little or no interest in food production. Water trading between users is an essential element to better manage this limited resource - but 'users' is the key to this!
Despite this challenge, last year's crop was better than expected from the old trees, and the 2020 crop is also looking good.