Despite the record-low rainfall, the state’s crops of Almonds, Raisins, Rice, Prunes, Wine Grapes, Broccoli, Tomatoes, Lettuce, etc managed to still produce solid crops. However, if the lack of precipitation continues this winter, 2015 will be a whole different story.
Check out the state’s drought monitor website here.
California’s Central Valley will bear the brunt of the $2.2B economic loss as a result of the drought. This year alone, 409,000 acres of farmland have gone fallow. If the drought continues, we can expect an additional 240,000 acres of fallowed farmland each of the next two years. The lost revenue to the region is staggering and will not affect only farmers but the entire state as one industry cannot experience such an economic hit without it rippling through the rest of the state and even neighboring states.
In recent weeks and months, farmers have been chastised for their use of groundwater. In their defense, please see the below graphic:
California’s farmers are under increasing pressure to reduce the water they use or pay exorbitant prices. Being that we like to eat and not go broke doing so, we found this flyer created by the California Rice Commission quite interesting….
Despite recent “spring showers,” California is in a desperate drought. There are many rivers without adequate flow for young salmon to make their way to the ocean. The state is actually trucking these fish from their birthplaces up river to the delta so they can safely migrate out to sea. It is so despairing, farmers are pulling out trees because there is not enough water to support them…trees that take $1,000’s and $1,000’s to plant and years to grow. When rain does finally return to the state, it will be a long recovery for the entire nation. The attached graphic depicts the dependence on California grown nuts, fruits and vegetables.