Date Growers Conserve Water and Tractor Sales First Surge of 2023
**California’s nearly $90 million date industry produces more than half of the nation’s dates, with most of the fruit grown in the arid Coachella Valley.
Now University of California researchers are developing methodology to help growers establish guidelines for efficient water management in the desert region, including identifying how much irrigation is needed depending on location, soil type and date cultivars.
The urgency has grown as growers work to conserve Colorado River water supplies.
**Total farm tractor unit sales in the U.S. turned positive for the first time in 2023, led by continued strength in large tractors and combines.
The Association of Equipment Manufactures reports gains in the U.S. market were led by 100-plus horsepower two-wheel-drive units, up 25.4%, closely followed by four-wheel-drive units, up 21.9%.
U.S. combines also marked another large gain of 9.8%.
**Farm lending activity at commercial banks at the Kansas City Fed slowed through the first half of 2023 as interest rates continued pushing higher.
The survey of commercial banks shows the volume of non-real estate loans was 15% below last year, attributed to a lower average size of loans and a smaller number of loans compared with 2022.
The average interest rates on agricultural loans increased for the sixth-consecutive quarter.