Farmers relieved and worried about wet weather

FRESNO COUNTY, Calif.

Fred Machado has been in the farming business for more than 50 years. He grows almonds, grapes and corn on his land. This year the long-time farmer is worried about the lack of rainfall. "This has really been a dry year. We really need the rain although we wish it came two months ago but we'll take it when it comes," said Machado.

Machado is concerned about the rain's impact on his crop. He said, "The young almonds will rot because they're not safe yet and especially for cherry trees which are in full blossom, this is not a good thing." Machado shelled out more than seven thousand dollars he wasn't planning on spending to spray fungicide to protect his almonds. But farmers around the Valley say they're willing to risk some crop damage for rain.

Manuel Cunha with the Nisei Farmers League says, every storm counts. "This is now a good year but all the rain we can get is a benefit. We are way behind last year. We were up to 10 inches, right now we are about 5 and a half inches," said Cunha. Cunha says the drier than usual season will have a ripple effect on the agricultural industry. He said, "It affects the Valley, the 3 million people here but it probably affects the United States and other countries that we feed because this Valley produces over 400 commodities of all types."

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