What recent storms mean for Central California farmers

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Two days of rain caused furrows to flood on many Valley farms.

Nothing excessive, though, in most areas.

Farmers growing winter crops were thankful they haven't had to pump groundwater lately to irrigate.

"This helps," says Small Farm Advisor Michael Yang. "They don't have to turn on the pump because the water's already there to help with the vegetables."

Yang helped pick some of the fruit on a Sanger farm that didn't get wet.

Growers won't pick wet citrus for the market because that can cause blemishes on the rind.

"It's not too much where you cannot go in there but right now, it's just perfect," Yang said.

Instead of a large downpour, this week's rain has been steady.

Plenty of puddles have formed on local farms but all that rain is soaking into the ground and slowly replenishing the water table.

"We need that because you don't want it at once," Yang said. "You've flooded an area where you can't go in and harvest or go in and do your work. We need it slowly, recharging the ground."

So many Valley farmers have been pumping groundwater to irrigate during the drought, every drop returned to the underground aquifer helps.

By not having to turn on the well pumps, farmers can save a little money on electricity costs.

They also hope the next system adds to the snowpack.
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