- Author: Marissa Palin
In 2011, California farm revenue was $43.5 billion. We produced more than 400 crops with 800,000 workers on 81,500 farms.
The University of California plays a big role in supporting California agriculture. UC is the largest public holder of agriculture and biotech patents registered in the United States—UC holds 627 active plant licenses. UC plant varieties account for 90% of California’s wheat, 65% of California strawberries, and 40% of strawberries worldwide.
Our UC researchers are working to meet the challenges of global food production by coming up with new innovations in animal care and breeding, plant varieties, irrigation and nutrient delivery, and pest and disease management practices.
Despite California’s abundant food production, 16.2% of California households are food insecure. And California crops are being threatened by climate change. California temperatures are projected to increase by 2.7° F by 2050—that’s 3 times the rate of the last century. California lettuce and spinach ($1.6 billion in value) is being threatened by increasing temperatures.
Our world is changing. What does that mean for California agriculture? What does that mean for global food systems? What does that mean for us, our families, our neighbors? What do we need to do to keep up?
Let us know what you think in the comments below.