Strong winds cost farmers thousands in profit

FRESNO, Calif.

Firebaugh native Bob Dietrich is really worried the wind will whip up his almond trees and put a dent in his profits this year.

Dietrich said, "Real helpless, mother nature you can't really do anything she has got the upper hand on all of us."

Last week he watched about 100 pounds per acre fall off during the strong gusts.

"Last week was terrible, the day it blew out here we are out here pretty close to i-5 and there was gusts probably 45 or 50 miles an hour," Dietrich said.

Dietrich says he lost more than 12 thousand pounds of almonds but what was worse he says is all that force also damaged his trees.

"When the wind was blowing that hard instead of just knocking the nut off the tree the wind blew so hard it would peel a little part of bark off with the nut so that's not real good for the tree," Dietrich said.

Starting Sunday morning he plans to turn off all his water pumps. Dietrich says when the ground is wet trees are more likely to topple.

"We have winds in winter but this is the worst wind this time of the year," Dietrich said.

Dietrich said he's taking every extra precaution this weekend because last week's wind damage cost him about $25,000.

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