Wet weather causing some complications for Valley growers

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Kings County Supervisor and walnut grower Doug Verboon said this is what a normal winter looks like. (KFSN)

Kings County Supervisor and walnut grower Doug Verboon said this is what a normal winter looks like. Water flowing in canals, plenty of rainfall in the Valley, and lots of snow in the sierra-- things that should never be taken for granted, and were sorely missed by Valley growers over several recent dry years.

"Very critical we get rain here, because what hurts is no rain."

But the barrage of precipitation has not come without some minor setbacks that really all have to do with accessing the crop.

Some citrus growers will hold off on harvesting until conditions dry out because some spots are just too difficult or dangerous to work in.

Verboon has the same issue, and it's delaying him from doing weed control, pruning and what he calls winter sanitation; which means cleaning up all the old nuts that weren't harvested so worms don't get to them and then spread to the new nuts.

"It's difficult to make someone work in the rain or the mud, but we work around it and find something else to do in the shop when it's too wet to be in the field."

"To date, we're almost two inches above average rainfall in the city of Hanford, so we'll take it, we like it," said Dusty Ference, Kings County Farm Bureau Executive Director.

Ference said local growers are not complaining about the rain. Even though permanent crops may be slightly behind on spraying because of it and row crops can't be prepped for planting yet.

"Even those delays are really minor right now. A lot of that work was done already, and growers are using this opportunity to store water and help recharge the aquifer."

Bottom line, there is still time to take care of the small stuff. So growers aren't sweating it yet, because they need all the rain they can get.
Related Topics:
weatheragriculturekings countyrainwater
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