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With Almonds' Rising Revenues, Land Values Soar PDF Print E-mail
Written by Gosia Wozniacka   
Thursday, 17 January 2013 04:38

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) - Bill Enns, a central California real estate agent specializing in farmland, fields dozens of calls every week from potential buyers. Many want almond, pistachio or walnut orchards - or any land suitable for growing nut trees.

This summer in Merced County, Enns brokered the sale of 1,200 acres of open ground lacking a good source of water. Listed at $12,500 per acre, the land attracted dozens of buyers and sold within a month for a whopping $15,000 per acre. The buyer will plant it with almond trees, a notably waterintensive crop.

"It was one of the highest sales per acre that we've seen for that kind of land," said Enns, vice president of the Farm Lands Department at Pearson Realty. "We've seen some numbers that would just blow your mind." In recent years, farmers in California's Central Valley have seen record-high revenues, buoyed by high demand for fruits, nuts and vegetables in the U.S. and abroad. Investors both foreign and domestic have taken notice, buying up farmland and driving up agricultural land values in a region with some of the highest residential foreclosure rates.

California's almond industry, which grows about 80 percent of the global almond supply and 100 percent of the domestic supply, saw the most dramatic growth - powered by strong demand from new moneyspending middle classes in India and China.

Last Updated on Thursday, 17 January 2013 04:40