Oct 27, 2015 3:18 PM by News Staff
Agriculture officials in several of North State counties say the walnut harvest is wrapping up, and the buying period begins next Tuesday.
Walnut thefts have plagued North State farms and ranches for years during the harvest season, but the buying period is designed eliminate a thief’s ability to sell stolen walnuts.
In 2013 walnuts raked in more than $285 million in gross value in Butte County. With the skyrocketing prices, North State counties reported a significant increase in rural crime, prompting officials in Butte, Glenn and Tehama Counties to adopt the nut theft ordinances.
Each ordinance specifically targets roadside cash walnut buyers during harvest time, and protects growers from losing the nuts that are legally theirs.
Since being adopted in May of 2013, everyone selling walnuts must prove ownership. In order to do so, sellers provide buyers with the proper documentation at the time of purchase.
Walnut growers say the ordinance has been working, and they expect thefts to stay down in 2015. In 2014, walnut thefts were down in Butte, Glenn and Tehama Counties.