Supplemental Water From Districts Will Be Needed This Year for Nut Crops
Christine Gemperle is owner and operator of Gemperle orchards in Ceres, which is South of Modesto and she said if you're in a water district and you don't have enough water for almonds, it gets expensive.
“At this point we're just going to be buying supplemental water. Our district is able to get extra supplies here and there and growers put in for a pool and we hope we get what we asked for.
Many of them and growers may put up the four acre-feet on their crop. They get the production they need, but for Gemperle… “we never put on four--- never. I guess we can have four acre-feet in some years that we get a lot of rain, but we're pretty conservative,” she said “I've actually pulled in a crop during the drought when it was awful…. I think we put on like two-and-a-half feet. I mean, it was very minimal,” Gemperle explained.
“We work with a group called Irrigation For the Future and they've really taken us to the next level as far as deficit irrigation management----really precise application,” she said.
Gemperle said with two-and-a-half acre-feet, that crop a smaller. The crop was definitely smaller. I mean, I think we put, you might've gotten like 1600 or 1800 pounds per acre that year,” she said. And, that's not too bad with only two-and-a-half acre-feet. Plus she kept her trees alive.