Farmers and experts weary of lush green lands heading into warmer months

Looking ahead, the worry is the amount of snow covering our local mountains and how quickly it will melt.

Friday, March 31, 2023
Farmers and experts weary of lush green lands heading into warmer months
Looking ahead, the worry is the amount of snow covering our local mountains and how quickly it will melt.

MERCED COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- After extraordinary amounts of rain and record breaking now, farmers, their cattle, and even the camels at Lloyd Pareira's Merced County property are now soaking up the benefits of all the excess green.

Last year at this time, many growers were heavily focused on irrigating, but this season that's not the case.

"There has been enough moisture and rainfall to grow the crops and there's a lot of oats that are growing on the rolling hills like out on the west side by Los Banos near the Pacheco pass, that area and they get a bunch of crops this year," explained Pareira

Looking ahead, the worry is the amount of snow covering our local mountains and how quickly it will melt.

"This is effectively the wettest start to a water year that we've had here in Fresno in 40 years, the snowpack in the southern Sierra is as high as it's been since 1969," said John Abatzoglou, Professor of Climatology at UC Merced.

Experts are also closely monitoring the cooler temperature trend.

"We've only had 3 days of 70 or more so far in Fresno this year. Last year at this time, we had 33 days at 70 or more," explained Abatzoglou

While many in the Valley are hoping we don't skip seasonable spring weather and go straight to scorching.

"Here we are with more snow in the mountains than we had in December 1997, and so the million dollar question is, how warm is it going to get? Are we going to get some late warm rains and will it melt that snow," added Pareira.

And until the warmer temperatures arrive, farmers are focused on all the groundwater recharge they are receiving.

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