**California almond growers have faced tough economic conditions in recent years as production costs soar and earnings plummet.

Yet the Almond Board of California maintains long-term outlook for the tree nut remains positive as the industry struggles.

At the recent 2023 Almond Conference in Sacramento, industry leaders said changing times and consumer behaviors mean the sector will need to evolve to remain competitive and drive global demand for the state’s 3.5-billion-pound crop.

Wrangler and herder
Centrill Media // Shutterstock

**The USDA’s December Livestock Outlook says higher cow slaughter and heavier-than-assumed carcass weights will offset lower fed cattle slaughter in the fourth quarter.

That will leave the beef production forecast for 2023 unchanged.

Expected heavier carcasses will carry over into early 2024 along with higher cow slaughter.

Fourth-quarter pork production was raised 25 million pounds to nearly 7.1 billion pounds, 2.4 percent higher than the same period last year.

Immigrant Agricultural Workers Critical To U.S. Food Security Amid COVID-19 Outbreak
Getty Images

**The USDA reminds specialty crop growers that assistance is available for producers who incur eligible on-farm food safety program expenses.

The expenses are part of the process for obtaining or renewing food safety certification through the Specialty Crops program.

Farm Service Administrator, Zach Ducheneaux says the program is one of the ways USDA helps support local and regional food systems and opportunities for small-scale producers.

The application for 2023 closes January 31st.

More From News Talk KIT