California’s Strict Air Quality Regulations Help Farmers Prosper, UCI-Led Study Finds - GV Wire - Explore. Explain. Expose
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California’s Strict Air Quality Regulations Help Farmers Prosper, UCI-Led Study Finds

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Farmers in California’s Central Valley are not known for their love of government regulations, but those same growers have seen a boost in the productivity of their high-value crops – and greater earnings – as a result of the Golden State’s strict air pollution controls.
For a study published today in Nature Food, researchers at the University of California, Irvine and other institutions conducted a statistical analysis of pollution exposure and yields from 1980 to 2015 on a key sector making up about 38 percent of the state’s total agricultural output: perennial crops such as almonds, grapes, nectarines, peaches, strawberries and walnuts. They found that reductions in ground ozone during this 35-year period resulted in $600 million in increased production annually by the early 2010s.
“A lot of California farmers may not appreciate that air quality standards have had such a benefit on their ability to grow crops,” said co-author Steven Davis, UCI associate professor of Earth system science. “The irony is that by fighting against certain environmental regulations, these folks may be damaging their own earning capacity.”
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