Water Cutbacks Could Have Unprecedented Impacts
Here are a few ag related updates affecting the state brought to you courtesy of the California Farm Bureau Federation.
The California state water board is working on emergency curtailments for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta that may have major impacts on California agriculture and water rights holders. Amid severe drought, many farms have fallowed fields and curtailed plantings due to prior cutbacks from state and federal water projects. A California Farm Bureau attorney says the implications of worsening water shortages and continued dry conditions “could be unprecedented.”
Water shortages from drought are making for smaller lemons this year. Yet the market looks brighter for the citrus fruit due to recovering demand for lemons in restaurants and food service businesses. The Saticoy Lemon Association in Ventura County says food service orders for lemons are nearing 90 percent of pre-pandemic levels. Last year, amid widespread restaurant closures, the lemon demand was down by nearly two-thirds.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is creating a pilot program to assist Klamath River Basin farm businesses impacted by worsening drought. Under the program, the USDA is providing a $15 million block grant to the Klamath River Drought Response Agency. The local agency will offer payments to agricultural producers who curb their irrigation demands. The USDA will evaluate the program in studying potential additional economic relief for the region.
[Source: California Farm Bureau Federation]