News

Collated List of Articles

June 11, 2021

I post Ag Data News articles every Wednesday. Here's a convenient list of past articles based on whether they include R code, use data from our apps, address the effects of events or policies, or were written in my ARE 231 class.

List of most-read articles in my first year doing this (5/27/20-5/26/21):  It's Been a Year

How Much Do California Farmers Really Produce?

June 09, 2021

California was a wheat-growing state in the latter half of the 1800s. In 1890 only Minnesota produced more wheat than California. Soon thereafter, the state began a massive agricultural transformation away from grain and towards vegetables, fruit, and nuts.  Today, California grows pretty much everything except for the major grains, which creates a logistical challenge in measuring production. 

 

It's Been a Year

May 26, 2021

A year ago, on May 27, 2020, I posted my first Ag Data News article about how almonds have overtaken grapes as California's number one crop. My plan was to write an article every week on topics related to agriculture, with a focus on data: new data, old data and interesting data. 

California Dreamin'

May 12, 2021

California just saw its population decline for the first time ever, its houses are unaffordable, and wildfires make its air toxic. Who would possibly want to emulate such a state?  Well, if you're asking about low carbon fuels policy, then the answer is lots of people.

A California Avocado Hass Taken Over the World

May 05, 2021

In 1926, a mail carrier and amateur botanist named Rudolph Hass planted three mystery avocado seeds in sawdust-filled apple boxes at his Los Angeles area home. One of the seeds grew into a tree that produced fruit with a thick bumpy skin. Spurred by his children who loved the taste of these avocados, Hass began to sell them to locals before eventually patenting the tree and selling seedlings from it.

Should I Feel Guilty for Eating Beef?

April 28, 2021

I enjoy a good steak. I also enjoy lamb chops and pork ribs and many other kinds of meat. However, animal agriculture has been vilified over its contribution to climate change. Am I destroying the planet by eating meat?

Making Hay While the Water Flows

April 21, 2021

California farmers make a lot of hay. Until 2013, they used more land to grow alfalfa for hay than any other crop. Now, alfalfa uses the second-most acres behind almonds. Most CA alfalfa hay is used to feed cattle, although up to a third of it is exported to Asia.

 

Assessing Fire Damage to the 2020 Wine Grape Crop

April 14, 2021

Lightning strikes during a heat wave in a bone dry state make for a lot of devastation. This is what happened in California in August 2020, taking lives and livelihoods, causing billions of dollars of damage, and filling the air with toxic smoke.