Low walnut prices may prompt grower to buy less fertilizer, machinery

Low walnut prices have put a damper on Joe Conant’s spending plans this year. Conant, who grows 500 acres of producing walnuts in California’s Sacramento Valley near Wheatland, Calif., reports walnut prices have fallen to half the level of last year. He’s hoping for better prices this year.

“Because of high fertilizer prices and the low price of nuts, we’ll probably cut back on fertilizer use this year,” says Conant, who produces most of the common walnut varieties. “We may reduce rates on lower-yield varieties more than the others. I don’t know yet.”

Also, he probably won’t be buying as much equipment as usual this year. “Normally, we try to upgrade some equipment each year. But, when prices are low, that’s the first thing we cut. So, we may not be buying a new tractor this year.”

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