Monday, February 24, 2014

Trading the California Drought: Almonds and Water

A couple times in the last two weeks I've babbled about almonds. In "El Nino Won't Come Quick Enough To Break the California Drought" it was "Be that as it may, should Cali get relief Australia would get hit so you are trading cheap almonds for expensive wheat. Here are the latest forecasts (new ones next week) from IRI and Columbia University's Earth Institute..." and in last week's "Agricultural ETF Jumps":
Our only real ag long right now is a bet that the corn current crop trades above $5.00 along with a very small taste of cocoa at $2700. It might be time to start paying attention to the grains. And almonds if the Cali drought continues, although a bit harder to trade readers can probably figure out something with Diamond Foods.
Here's more from Mother Jones:

It Takes How Much Water to Grow an Almond?!
Why California's drought is a disaster for your favorite fruits, vegetables, and nuts. 

Crop map
California, supplier of nearly half of all US fruits, veggies, and nuts, is on track to experience the driest year in the past half millennium. Farms use about 80 percent of the state's "developed water," or water that's moved from its natural source to other areas via pipes and aqueducts.

As the maps above show, much of California's agriculture is concentrated in the parts of the state that the drought has hit the hardest. For example: Monterey County, which is currently enduring an "exceptional drought," according to the US Drought Monitor, grew nearly half of America's lettuce and broccoli in 2012.
When it comes to water use, not all plants are created equal. Here's how much water some of California's major crops require....

HT: The Big Picture's Monday PM Reads

By-the-bye, Diamond Foods is not to be confused with Blue Diamond Growers. The latter specializes in almonds but is privately held while the former handles walnuts and trades NASDAQ, DMND, up 3.95% today to $28.67 and up 7.2% since the note above.

See also: "James Grant Says Buy Black Walnuts":
Not exactly  Pssst... "Blue Horseshoe loves Anacot Steel" but ya play the cards you're dealt....