Steady rain in the Valley puts a hold on harvesting

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- This week's steady rain has disrupted the Valley harvest of everything from citrus to vegetables.

Crews were in the middle of carrot season at Terranova Farms in western Fresno County, which was turned into a muddy mess.

Farmer Don Cameron explained, "We were harvesting carrots pretty hot and heavy."

RELATED: Atmospheric River moves into Central California. Here's what to expect

But the storm has put the harvest on hold.

Cameron said, "It turns these fields muddy even though this is a sandy area of the ranch. It just shuts everything down and with the continued rains it's going to be a while before we get back in."

Cameron told us as many as 25 truckloads of carrots a day were being transported to Grimmway Farms in Bakersfield.

He said, "These are carrots that are going to be headed to someone's table."

They'll be sold as baby carrots in stores.

For now, employees were staying indoors and doing maintenance work.

Depending on how much rain we get, it could be a few weeks before the harvest resumes.

Cameron said, "The harvester's parked today but as soon as we get this field dried again, we'll be back at it."

After nine months of dry weather, Cameron said an inch of hail fell a few days ago on his farm and now the skies have opened up.

Cameron said, "Just from one extreme to the other. It's difficult for planning but I tell you what, you know as a farmer we never complain about rain because we know this is building the snowpack in the sierra."

Crews can't resume the harvest until all the grounds dry so they can get around fields and orchards.

Fresno County Farm Bureau CEO Ryan Jacobsen said, "Citrus is going prime-time right now. It slowed a little bit down with the rain but I think would prefer to see that water coming in."

Farmers especially like to see more snow in the mountains because it will become a source for irrigation in the spring and summer.
Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.