Drought and Tree Fruit Pt 1

Drought and Tree Fruit Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
From the Ag Information Network, this is today’s Fruit Grower Report. Yes, the state of Washington has declared a drought emergency, but would drought warning be more appropriate?

Jon DeVaney, president of the Washington State Tree Fruit

Association, says growers are concerned about how the drought could affect their water supply, but they do have contingency plans for these situations …

DeVANEY … “And that’s one of the things that we’ve been trying to reassure the general public about. If they hear 60% of normal water supply, some of the first questions we get are, so does that mean there’ll be 60% of the usual cherry supply or the usual apple supply? And of course, that’s not how we allocate water.”

And, DeVaney says it would be nice if more folks understood how things really work …

DeVANEY … “In many of these districts there are water rights for the season being traded back and forth to ensure that perennial crops like tree fruit get the supply that they need. And we’ve been doing some opportunity to educate the general public about all the things that our growers are already doing to use water more efficiently.”

But weather, DeVaney says isn’t the only worry …

DeVANEY … “There are policy issues that can impede that because if you the grower make a huge investment in conserving water, you just have given away that resource. And that can slow down making those investments because there’s not really a payoff for doing so.”

Tune in tomorrow for more on agriculture in a drought emergency and its public perception.

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