Storm brings relief to farmers

Thursday's storm brought relief to Valley growers dealing with drought conditions.
January 30, 2014 12:00:00 AM PST
Thursday's storm brought relief to Valley growers dealing with drought conditions. The rain provided free irrigation. Many farmers have been paying high electric bills to pump groundwater from underground wells.

Rows of strawberry fields were filled with water - giving Clovis farmer David Sarabian reason to smile.

Sarabian said, "Everybody is happy. We're all happy to see it and we hope this is just the beginning."

The rain came at a good time. Like many other Valley farmers Sarabian had been pumping groundwater to irrigate crops like cabbage and bok choy until his well dried up.

"This pump went dry last week," said Sarabian. "We were running it and it just start sucking air and there was no water on it,"

Crews had to dig 40 feet deeper to get the well going again.

Sarabian explained, "The same problem's happening from Selma to Sanger and we're supposed to be in the area where we have good water."

He hoped more storms bring more rain to help replenish the underground supply.

Fresno farmer Will Scott also had his well run dry this season so the storm brought a little relief.

Scott said. "It was a blessing in two ways. Not only does it settle the dust out here but also it puts moisture on the ground and also on the plants I'm growing, giving an added boost as far as growth."

Scott grows carrots, mustard and collard greens. He'd like to see a few more storms head our way.

Scott said, "This time of year you're hoping for adequate rainfall in order to fill up the reservoirs and lakes and also we count on the snow."

Both Will Scott and David Sarabian hoped the storm marked the start of a wet weather trend.


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