Butte County, CA, supervisors will look at amending a county code to help protect California walnut growers from thieves.
The current law allows the county agricultural commissioner to require anyone who has 25 pounds of agricultural commodity in his or her possession to prove ownership.
The proposed amendment would eliminate the 25-pound requirement and would require people with quantities of walnuts in their possession to have “proper documentation” of possession on forms approved by the ag commissioner.
“The walnut industry is particularly vulnerable to theft due to the manner in which nuts are harvested from windrows,” says the agenda report on the proposal.
The walnut industry is significant in Butte County. The most recent crop report, on the 2011 crops, says the county had 37,000 harvested acres of walnuts that year, with a market value of $219 million.