Drought adds pressure on Central Valley farmers as other factors cause food prices to rise. Dan Sumner comments on drought and food price

Snowpack statewide is only at 59% of its April 1 average, based on electronic measurements according to the California Department of Water Resources. Farmers in the Central Valley producing water-intensive crops such as almonds and tomatoes are already facing some difficult choices. “It’s really serious, particularly in the Central Valley.”

UC Davis Agricultural Economist Daniel Sumner

Click here for the full article.

Galt High School FFA Issues Team won the California State Championship!

The Galt FFA Agricultural Issues team, which worked with us at AIC a few weeks ago, recently won the California State Championship!  They explored issues related to the Sustainable Ground Water Act.

Team members are Mia Arisman, Gabrielle Martin, Maico Ortiz-Hinojosa, Jose Santos Madison Sweat, and Nathan Villalobos.

They are preparing to represent California at the National FFA Convention in October in Indianapolis.

Congratulations to the team members, their teacher and coach Mr. Dane White and all of Galt High School.

Galt High School FFA Issues Team visited AIC to discuss the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act

A team of students from the Galt High School FFA recently visited Dan Sumner, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ARE) distinguished professor and director of the UC Agricultural Issues Center (AIC).

The students visited Sumner in the AIC to present their entry for the FFA Agricultural Issues Forum Leadership Development Event, and hear his suggestions. Sumner explained that this annual FFA competition has students pick an agricultural issue, then present all sides. The Galt High School students chose the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. Sumner relayed that one student took on the role of moderator as the other students took on personas of people on various sides of the issue, such as farmer, environmentalist, rural community leader, etc.

“The students were very articulate, smart and thoughtful,” Dr. Sumner said, adding that UC Davis is a great resource for students interested in pursuing agricultural economics, and he enjoys and encourages such requests for interaction as the Galt High School teacher makes for his FFA students each year.

AIC Conference: “California Agriculture: Sustainability, Farm Labor, Immigration, ALRB, and Cannabis”

This conference examines labor-related issues in California agriculture. Fruits and vegetables were two thirds of the state’s $47 billion in farm sales in 2015, average agricultural employment has been increasing to 420,000, and most farm workers are aging unauthorized Mexican-born men who have settled in California with their families.

Four timely issues will be discussed. First is fresh-produce buyers requiring growers to abide by labor and other protocols that go beyond government regulations in order to sell commodities. Second is the four-S response of farmers to fewer new farm workers, including satisfying current workers, stretching them with mechanical aids, substituting machines for hand workers or switching crops, and supplementing with younger H-2A guest workers. Third is the enforcement of laws against unauthorized migration in the Trump Administration the effects on farm workers and agriculture. Fourth is a review of ALRB activities and the status of the state’s cannabis industry and its workforce.

There is no charge to participate.

This conference is supported by the UC Agricultural Issues Center, the UC Davis Gifford Center and Migration Research Cluster, the Giannini, Rosenberg, and WKF foundations, and the ALRB.

For further information, contact Philip Martin (plmartin@ucdavis.edu).


8:15AM Check-in and Continental Breakfast

8:45AM Welcome

Philip Martin, UC Davis
Colin Carter, UC Davis

9:00AM Sustainability Certification Standards and Farm Labor Compliance

Chair: Daniel Sumner, UC Agricultural Issues Center and UC Davis
Nathan Smith, SureHarvest
Ernie Farley, Andrew and Williamson
Hector Lujan, Reiter Affiliated Companies
Kirk Wagner, Growers Express

10:30AM Break

10:45AM Farm Labor: Responding to Aging and Settling Workers

Chair: William Gould, Chairman Emeritus, ALRB
Philip Martin, UC Davis
Daniel Carroll, DOL
Daniel Costa, EPI
Fritz Roka, University of Florida
Don Villarejo, Davis

12:15PM Lunch

1:15PM Immigration and Farm Workers

Chair: Philip Martin, UC Davis
“What’s Next for Immigration,” Kevin Johnson, UC Davis
“Immigration Policy and Farm Workers,” Ed Kissam, WKF
Discussants: Amagda Perez (UC Davis), Cynthia Rice (CRLA), Cruz Reynoso (UC Davis)

2:45PM Break

3:00PM ALRB Issues and Cannabis

Chair: Genevieve Shiroma, ALRB
Reflections on the ALRB,” William Gould, Chairman Emeritus, ALRB
ALRB Today,” Julia Montgomery, ALRB GC
The Economics of Cannabis,” Daniel Sumner, UC Davis
Farm Workers and Cannabis,” Ed Blanco, ALRB
Representing Cannabis Workers,” Pete Maturino, UFCW

4:30PM Adjourn


Friday, April 14, 2017


Kalmanovitz Appellate Courtroom
King Hall
UC Davis
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616


Click here to register

California’s Water: Water for Farms

AIC Director Daniel Sumner collaborated on this report from the Public Policy Institute of California.

California is the nation’s largest farm state and a global market leader. Farms have steadily improved productivity per unit of water used, but the latest drought has exposed agriculture’s growing vulnerability to water shortages. This brief describes a number of opportunities to strengthen agricultural water management for the long term.

This publication is part of a briefing kit that summarizes a dozen of the state’s most pressing water management issues.

Click here for full report

AIC Director Dan Sumner Speaks at Wine Industry Financial Symposium

Napa, California, September 26, 2016

Agricultural Issues Center Director Dan Sumner spoke at the Wine Industry Financial Symposium.  The Symposium was titled: “Game Changers for the Next Twenty-Five Years”.

Sumner spoke on ” Wine Industry Water Issues” on a panel with Andrew Bassak, Partner, Mannatt, Phelps & Phillips; LLP, Moderator and Paula Whealen, Principal, Wagner & Bonsignore Engineers

Click here for a pdf of the presentation slides

Economic Analysis of the 2016 California Drought for Agriculture

Josué Medellín-Azuara, Duncan MacEwan, Daniel Sumner ,

Richard Howitt,Jay R. Lund.  August 2016

The Economic Analysis of the 2016 California Drought for Agriculture report estimates the impacts of the drought on agriculture.

“California’s agricultural powerhouse and its extensive water supply system have been challenged by recent years of drought. After four years of severely dry conditions, a wetter 2016 winter and spring helped California partially recover surface water storage and increased recharge to some aquifers. Nevertheless, statewide storage in reservoirs remains below historical average and groundwater remains in substantial overdraft in many areas.”

Read the full report here.

Copyright © The Regents of the University of California, Davis campus. All rights reserved.