U.S. Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Fresno Raisin Grower

Taylor Hillman General, Specialty Crops, Tree, nut & vine crops

A major U.S. Supreme Court decision about the raisin industry could lead to changes for growers. Sabrina Hill has more.

Raisin Ruling

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday in favor of a raisin farmer, who brought before them the USDA’s raisin program. During bumper crop years, this program takes the excess raisins from growers, in order to keep market prices up. The high court ruled this amounts to unconstitutional government “taking” of private property.

The case was brought by Fresno raisin grower Marvin Horne. According to USA Today, Horne has refused to comply with the program since 2002, and is facing fines of $695,000.

As AgNet West has previously reported, some raisin growers disagree with Horne and are pleased with the raisin program. They feel the program keeps raisin prices fair, and levels out the peaks and valleys of the industry.

However, other growers like Horne and his supporters, and the U.S. Supreme Court say the government cannot take the raisins without giving the growers adequate compensation.

The last time the rule was used occurred in the bumper crop year of 2004.