Agriculture and Wildfires
Here’s a roundup of how the fires are impacting agriculture around the state, courtesy of the California Farm Bureau.
Timber, grazing and ranch lands appear to have borne the brunt of the agricultural impact so far from California's destructive wildfires. A Cal Fire information officer says damage-assessment teams have begun their work, and county agricultural commissioners say a full accounting of the losses could take weeks or months. Smoke from the fires also threatens winegrapes, which can absorb chemicals that produce an off-taste in wine.
A wildfire-mitigation bill went before a U.S. Senate subcommittee Wednesday, and a coalition of Western state Farm Bureaus says the measure would help the region address its "catastrophic wildfire crisis." Thirteen state Farm Bureaus and the American Farm Bureau express support for the bill, the Emergency Wildfire and Public Safety Act. It would implement projects to manage forests, remove hazardous fuels and accelerate post-fire restoration and reforestation.
In the midst of the wildfires, rice harvest will gain momentum in the Sacramento Valley this week. Rice farmers and marketers say they're optimistic about the crop and its prospects, though they say the pandemic has created an unusual marketing situation. In the early days of the pandemic, Americans stocked up on rice and other staple foods. That trend has eased, and demand from restaurants and other food service businesses remains low, but most export markets for the crop look promising.
(Source: California Farm Bureau)