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Food Supply Chain

American Pistachio Growers Look to the Future

April 24th, 2017 by Dan Block

One off the most interesting high value crops grown in the Western US is pistachios.  The highly nutritious nuts are grown in California, Arizona and New Mexico and are exported all over the world. I recently had the opportunity of facilitating the strategic planning workshop for the American Pistachio Growers (APG) association headquartered in Fresno, California. The two-day session brought together grower and processor leaders of the American pistachio industry. The group wrestled with key … + read more

U.S. Apple Export Council’s Strategic Planning Workshop in DC

January 27th, 2017 by Dan Block

US Apple Export Council (USAEC) board members and representatives met in Washington, DC this week to develop a strategic plan for the council’s international market development programs. Two days following the presidential inauguration, DC seemed back to normal and business as usual as apple industry leaders planned for enhancing US agricultural exports overseas. As principal consultant, I was retained to facilitate this planning process and work with the Council’s executive director to prepare … + read more

Hi Tech Ag Education – Agricultural Business & Technology Institute at Hartnell College

January 21st, 2017 by Dan Block

Hartnell College in Salinas, California sits in the heart of one the most productive and high-value farming regions of the world. As a former agribusiness professor at Cal Poly University in San Luis Obispo, California, I recall Hartnell College as one of the premier agricultural community colleges in the Western US. In the last few years Hartnell, through its Agricultural Business & Technology Institute (ABTI), has been building on … + read more

California Olive Committee takes fresh look at Ripe Olive Production Costs

January 4th, 2017 by Dan Block

D.W. Block Associates, LLC (DWB) recently completed study of current production costs for ripe/table olives in California. Table olives have been a traditional crop in California going back to the Spanish ranchos long before California was a state. However, acreages have been declining due, in part, to government subsidized imports from Europe and high hand labor harvesting costs. This study looked at actual costs by interviewing several growers throughout the state both in … + read more

North Dakotans Reconsider a Corporate Farming Ban, and Their Values – Timely read in NYT by Julie Bosman

June 16th, 2016 by Dan Block

It is interesting what North Dakotans are facing regarding their famers and farmland. It is a challenge to find that balance between growth and efficiencies while still preserving the competitiveness of small and mid-sized farms and important qualities of life. Take a read: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/13/us/north-dakotans-reconsider-a-corporate-farming-ban-and-their-values.html?_r=0

Farmers – The Original Earth Day Folks – Useful Read on MSNBC by Naomi Starkman

April 22nd, 2016 by Dan Block

    I found this article on MSNBC simple and helpful. Especially for folks who don’t see where their food comes from. Everyday is Earth Day for Farmers – http://on.msnbc.com/1SgFwio dwb

The Key to Making Your Supply Chain Function Profitably – A Robust ERP System

March 25th, 2016 by Dan Block

More and more agribusiness firms are focusing on their supply chains as the place to reduce costs and thereby increase profitability. Through our supply chain consulting unit, d2kb™, we often see that one of the big obstacles to improving supply chain efficiency is an outdated or weak ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system. An ERP system … + read more

Big Hope For Big Data

November 4th, 2014 by Elliot Hohn

Having recently returned from the 6th annual Water For Food Global Conference – the main focus of which was “harnessing the data revolution” – the idea of Big Data and its value to farmers has been on my mind a lot lately. Big Data is simply defined as large volumes of information, coming at a high velocity, being delivered in a variety of formats. These data … + read more

Driscoll’s finds that “less is more” when it comes to groundwater use in California

August 8th, 2014 by Elliot Hohn

If you’ve opened up a newspaper anywhere in the United States in the past four months you’ve probably read about the drought in California. The entire state has been in some level of drought since May, and as of August 5th more than 80% of the state is considered to be experiencing an “extreme” or … + read more

Water Shortage – Impact on Farm Input Suppliers’ Plans

January 28th, 2014 by Dan Block

There is the possibiblity of nearly 500,000 row crop acres not being planted in the San Jaoquin Valley of California this spring due to the drought there. Given that the demand for farm inputs such as irrigation supplies, seed, fertilizer, etc, is derived from planted acres, farm input suppliers are adjusting their forecasts and expenditures for … + read more