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I grow approximately nine hundred acres of almonds on my farm, which represents about one-fourth of my farm's acreage. I experience regret and exasperation each time I read another attack on a crop and an industry by those who really do not understand the decision-making that I go through in determining which crop to plant. I do not just wake up one day and select the crop that is going to make me the most money. My first step in the decision-making process is to ascertain which crop consumers will buy at their local grocery stores.
Yes, a major portion of the harvested almond crop in California finds its way to consumers in overseas markets. The return on this portion of the crop enables me and other farmers to continue growing for consumers everywhere and at the same time provide jobs for individuals who have been a part of my farm for generations.
If there is not a demand for the crop, then no farmer in his right mind will plant it. If there is another crop that I can grow that will provide a greater financial return than what I receive from almonds and consumers will buy it, then I'll switch crops.
Some people think that farmers are getting filthy rich from growing almonds but they don't understand the economics of farming. The financial returns I receive from growing almonds help my farm survive, especially in these drought years in which I have left 1,200 acres unplanted because of a lack of water.
Dan Errotabere, Riverdale
Our March 25 dining review, "Going Analog," listed the incorrect address and phone number for Analog. The correct address is 414 14th Street, Oakland. The correct phone number is 510-858-5964. Our March 18 Seven Days column, "A Drop in the Bucket," misstated the amount of water California has left overall, because of an error in a Los Angeles Times op-ed by NASA water scientist Jay Famiglietti. The Times corrected its op-ed to reflect the fact that Famiglietti stated that there is only about one year of water left in the state's reservoirs. And our March 25 Theater Review, "If These Walls Could Mime," incorrectly identified the actors in Fantasy Home Sweepstakes: Malibu who played the Beckett-esque characters. They were Michele Owen and Christina Shonkwiler. In addition, it was Sango Tajima who played the bumblebee/sweepstakes host.