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February 1, 2014 5:22 PM

Northern San Joaquin Valley ranchers worry about spread of nut orchards

A simple math lesson showed cattle ranchers what they’re up against: Almonds can fetch $3 a pound these days, and a typical acre can net $5,000 per year after expenses. Such figures trouble beef producers in the hills just east and west of the Northern San Joaquin Valley, who need several acres of grassland for each market-bound animal, if the land isn’t irrigated.

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