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California Almond Growers Feeling Impact Of Ports Shutdown

  

California growers produce about two billion pounds of almonds each year, which is 80 percent of the world's supply.

More than half that crop is exported and shipped overseas through West Coast ports.

Dave Phippen from Manteca is a grower, packer, and he ships to 26 countries. But he's finding it hard to get his almonds on board ship now because of the slowdown.

"If we do get a load that goes from Manteca to the Port of Oakland, we're paying an extra $300 in congestion fees because it's just so congested there," says Phippen. "The trucks are waiting in line, they might get unloaded, and they might not. A lot of times the load comes back to us."

Phippen says when a load comes back he loses $900 because of the wasted roundtrip.

He says a greater concern is that as his supply builds up he'll run out of room and then he will have to tell his workers to stay home.

Citrus growers, wine shippers and walnut growers are all feeling the cargo bottleneck.

Meanwhile, the White House says President Obama is sending his labor secretary to help with stalled talks over concern for broad economic damage.

 manteca

Rich Ibarra

Contributing Central Valley/Foothills Reporter

As the Central Valley correspondent, Rich Ibarra covers San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Merced counties, along with the foothill areas including Tuolumne and Calaveras counties. He covers politics, the economy and issues affecting the region.   Read Full Bio