Agriculture
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Agriculture

AGRICULTURE

 

For more than 35 years, we have sustainably operated an agricultural development at our Cadiz Valley property in California’s Mojave Desert. The underlying groundwater, fertile soil, warm desert temperatures, and low occurrence of indigenous pests provide ideal conditions  to produce fruits and vegetables, including citrus, grapes, melons, peppers, and squash.

 

9,600 acres of our Cadiz Valley property, which is also known as the Cadiz Ranch, has been permitted for agricultural use, allowing for planting, irrigation and related infrastructure. The Cadiz Ranch is the largest approved agricultural operation in San Bernardino County. Approximately 3,500 acres are developed for active farming via a combination of lease arrangements and direct farming by Cadiz. Our crop mix has received organic certification from state and local authorities.

 

Water & Infrastructure

The Cadiz Ranch features an irrigation system supported by 9 wells, with capacity to deliver up to 25,000 acre-feet of water per year. Water quality is excellent with very low TDS and meets all state and federal requirements without treatment.

 

Though remote, the property is located at the crossroads of major rail and highway infrastructure allowing access to variety of desert communities.  The property also includes worker housing and commissary for up to 300 people, as well as office and equipment facilities to support our Ranch community.

 

Crop Mix

The Cadiz area has successfully grown permanent tree crops including citrus and grapes, and a variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables such as cabbage and carrots.  The area is also suitable for industrial hemp and grain crops including alfalfa, which can be rotated to improve the land and soil quality.

 

Partnerships

In 2019, through our 50/50 joint venture partnership with Glass House Farms, SoCal Hemp JV LLC, we began farming industrial hemp at the Cadiz Ranch following its legalization in the 2018 US Farm Bill. SoCal Hemp has conducted seasonal trials of many different hemp varietals and in partnership with Victor Valley College is actively researching best growing conditions and practices for successful hemp cultivation in desert environments. Successful hemp harvests have been dedicated to the production of hemp-derived CBD products to meet growing demand in this market across the country.

 

Sustainable Management

To address climate change, maintain a natural environment and support habitat for local flora and fauna, we and our farming partners follow best practices that minimize water use, improve soil fertility, and reduce pesticides and other applications that could adversely impact soil, water or food quality. Efficient use of water by agriculture is critical to long-term sustainability and our agricultural operations.

All farming at the Cadiz Ranch is conducted in accordance with permits from San Bernardino County that require monitoring and reporting of conditions.

 

In 2019, the Cadiz/Fenner groundwater basins, which underlie our farming operations, were classified as “low/very low” priority in accordance with the California Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (“SGMA”) demonstrating the sustainability of the groundwater basins that support our ongoing irrigation.