At a recent Tulare County Board of Supervisors meeting, Marilyn Kinoshita, Tulare County Agriculture Commissioner, presented the county’s board of supervisors with new revisions to the current ordinance to help reduce nut thefts according to the Visalia Times-Delta.
“Roughly 40,000 acres are producing walnuts,” Kinoshita said. “Because of the way they are harvested, [walnuts] are particularly prone to theft.”
Kinoshita told the board of supervisors that prior to the current nut ordinance, there were between 150 to 160 reports of nut thefts during a harvest season. But, that changed with the current nut ordinance – there were only two this past harvest.
The cash-buying period, called for in the current ordinance has reduced nut theft. However, Kinoshita suggests ending cash sales because growers feel it encourages theft and illegal sales.
The revision calls for buyers to pay by check, with a 10-day hold and to give the ag commissioner the enforcement authority, including enforcing fines and fees.