Farmer Matt Efird on Trade Issues
Matt Efird is fifth generation farmer in Fresno county producing almond walnut and raisins on 1500 acres. Regarding the nut crops Efird is working hard to get the USMCA trade deal passed—which is formerly NAFTA.
“I was back in Washington D.C in June, part of a group from California, meeting with legislators trying to encourage USMCA passage and giving the legislators our support as he agricultural community,” Efird said. “Frankly, its low hanging fruit when we start to look at trade negotiations.
“We need to get something done with our trade partners North and South, abd then start focusing on China after that,” he said.
Regarding trade with China, the tariffs are impacting the nut crops. “I think everyone is a ward of the significant increases in those tariffs. It’s been anywhere from 10 to 20 percent initially. Now it’s over 50 percent. It is frustrating but we are fortunate to have strong demand for almonds and we are able to meet that demand since California growers producing well over 80 percent of the world’s almonds, so we are in the driver’s seat there.”
Efird said that walnut is more of a tough road. “We saw a big drop in price last year, however it surprisingly rebounded this year. We would like to see walnut prices continue to strengthen, but tariffs are going to play a huge role in those prices stabilizing.