The walnut harvest is underway in Butte and surrounding counties. In previous years walnut growers were the targets of thieves but a new ordinance could make things different this year.
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The number of thefts from orchards continue to increase in the area. In past years, thieves would take nuts from the orchards, then head off to one of several roadside cash-for-walnuts stands to sell them. Now, a new ordinance is geared toward curbing that theft.
People and businesses who buy unprocessed walnuts set up these roadside stands and pay cash for the walnuts. This can be very tempting for a thief, especially as the price-per-pound continues to go up.
The new ordinance says the stands are not allowed to operate until the county ag commissioner says the the walnut harvest is over.
Most legal walnut harvesting is done with machines. Butte County Farm Bureau Executive Director Colleen Cecil says residents if they see people working in walnut orchards late at night or working without machines, they should call the sheriff’s department. She says if you see a roadside stand set up now, call the ag commissioner’s office.
The ordinance is in effect for Butte, Glenn and Tehama counties.