Sierra Snowpack Slips Further Below Average
Weather and impacts from the pandemic continue to present challenges to California farmers. Here are a few recent updates courtesy of the California Farm Bureau Federation.
Recording a fifth straight dry month, state surveyors report the Sierra snowpack has slipped further below average. Survey results released Tuesday showed the statewide snowpack at 61% of average, compared to 70% at the time of last month’s survey. Farmers have been warned to expect low water supplies, and say they will have to leave land idle as one response to the dry conditions.
With a final decision having been made to phase out agricultural burning in the San Joaquin Valley by 2025, farmers seek alternatives for disposing of vineyard and orchard prunings. The state Air Resources Board voted last week to end the practice. Farmers can grind discarded wood and incorporate it into the soil, but that’s not now possible in all cases. Farmers asked the board for help in developing alternatives for wood disposal.
County fairgrounds face a cash crunch, as the pandemic forces ongoing cancellations of events. A number of county fair boards have already voted to cancel their 2021 fairs. Some fairs have made accommodations for junior livestock sales, so students can still market their animals. In other locations, fairs have pushed back their traditional start dates, in hope pandemic restrictions will ease in time.
(Source: California Farm Bureau Federation)