Photo courtesy: NBC News
“A contingent of 48 students and two faculty members from The Evergreen State Colleges yearlong Ecological Agriculture class just returned from a two-week road trip into the heart of California drought country.
The drought, entering its fourth year with no signs of letting up, is all that farmers they met could talk about from Northern California to the Salinas Valley and beyond, TESC adjunct faculty member TJ Johnson said.
Normal crop plans for 2014 are flying out the window as some California producers scrap water-dependent crops such as melons, tomatoes and corn for less thirsty ones, said Johnson, an active member of the South Sound local food security movement.
Some ranchers are culling their herds because they cant grow enough hay to feed their livestock. The lack of hay is forcing some organic ranchers to switch to conventional feed.”
“California grows about 50 percent of the nations fresh fruits, nuts and vegetables,” by John Dodge in The Olympian.
– “Drought Threatens to Cripple California Agriculture Industry”
“A withering drought that has turned California rivers and reservoirs to dust now threatens to devastate the agriculture business in the countrys top farming state.”
“The historic drought which Gov. Jerry Brown has called an “unprecedented” emergency has imperiled the region’s $44.7 billion agriculture business. It could cost the state $2.8 billion in job income and $11 billion in annual state revenue, according to data from the California Farm Water Coalition, an industry advocacy group,” quoting Miguel Almaguer and Daniel Arkin, NBC News.