Ag Report

FRESNO, Calif.

Warmer spring temperatures have begun melting California's Sierra Snowpack, and it's still deep enough to comfort state water managers.

The state department of water resources took its final snow survey of the season.

The water content in the snowpack was 144 percent of normal. That keeps the state on track to provide 80 percent of the water contractors requested.

The snowpack supplies 25 million California residents and almost a million acres of farmland.

The allocation is the highest since 2006, when water contractors received 100 percent of their requested amount.


Farmland Threatened?

Farmers and environmentalists worry that California's budget problems could lead to the loss of large portions of the state's prime farmland.

California has been protecting millions of acres under a program that provides money to counties, which then cut farmers' property taxes.

The program once received about $38 million per year.

But this year no money was available for the program and it isn't expected to get any money in the budget now being negotiated.

Counties have been keeping the program going themselves, but they say they can't do it much longer.

Fresno County's administrative officer says the money being lost supported important services like the sheriff's department.

But some farmers say without the tax breaks, some farms will go under.

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