Water Shortages Impact All Farms
Water shortages continue to plague farmers and even urban farmers as well. Here are a few updates courtesy of the California Farm Bureau Federation.
Created to deal with scarcity, the California water-rights system is being tested this summer. A state water board has already imposed emergency regulations in the Russian River watershed and warned water-right holders in much of the Central Valley about water cutbacks. A Sacramento Valley farmer affected by the action says his farm will idle about one-third of its rice acreage because of short water supplies.
Farmers growing food on small plots of urban ground will suffer from the extreme drought, according to University of California farm advisors. UC Cooperative Extension says water rationing and surcharges imposed in past droughts proved a significant problem for certain urban farms and community gardens. Its report recommended that cities and counties provide “affordable, consistent water prices” for urban agriculture.
Continued shipping backlogs at California ports prove a headache for farm exporters. Ports have struggled to keep up with shipment volumes as Americans ordered more goods from Asia during the pandemic. As a result, outgoing shipments of perishable fruits and vegetables have been delayed—causing some to spoil before they reach their destination. In some cases, exporters can ship produce by air, but that’s not always available or affordable.
[Source: California Farm Bureau Federation]