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» December 5, 2007 «
Tough times lie ahead for many farm water users in California, according to speakers who addressed the California Farm Bureau's Annual Meeting. Water agency leaders predicted that farmers face higher water prices and water supplies that will be cut, perhaps severely. Any improvements to the state's water system will take years to complete, while supplies remain constrained by legal rulings, population growth and dry weather.
How to prepare for expected drought conditions will be the topic of a series of workshops for farmers Wednesday in Fresno and Thursday in Visalia. The drought results from reduced pumping flows from the delta as ordered by a federal judge to protect an endangered fish, and weather forecasts predicting lower rainfall amounts. Experts from the Agricultural Water Management Council will provide farmers with ideas to use water more efficiently.
Rain Tuesday was in time to keep range grasses from withering away. Ranchers say rainfall amounts north of Sacramento aided forage growth, with rainfall amounts of an inch or more reported. Cattle producers in Central California are hopeful the weather forecasts for rain Thursday and Friday are correct, as that region has been dry for more than a month. It's been so dry that many tree farmers in Northern and Central California have irrigated their orchards to keep their trees healthy.
A longtime agricultural leader in both the public and private sectors has received the California Farm Bureau Federation Distinguished Service Award. George Gomes now serves as undersecretary of the state Department of Food and Agriculture and previously worked as the administrator for the California Farm Bureau. He was honored at the Farm Bureau's Annual Meeting in Sparks, Nevada.Top