Farmers in Western Fresno County face a difficult summer

February 27, 2013 12:51:56 AM PST
Farmers in the Westlands Water District say a 25 % water allocation from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation will result in higher food prices.

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Valley almonds have begun to bloom around the Valley. Permanent crops like almonds are an irrigation priority for farmers in Western Fresno County.

They're receiving just a quarter of their normal water allocation this year due to dry conditions, and pumping restrictions in the Delta to protect the Delta Smelt.

"We have two droughts this year," said Shawn Colburn. "We have a drought of rainfall and we have a drought of common sense on how to operate our water system."

"We're looking at a lot of the summer crops like lettuce, melons, onions," said Gayle Holman. "Those row crops that depend on the water that comes through."

Colburn says he won't be planting any tomatoes or cantaloupes, meaning consumers will be paying more for produce.


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