Valley farmers are eager to see more rain fall

FRESNO COUNTY (KFSN) -- Rain is trickling into the Valley bringing a welcome site to eager farmers and those with the Kings River Water Association.

"Everybody in the Valley is really looking forward to what we hope will be the first in a series of really productive good wet storms. We desperately need it," said Randy McFarland, Kings River Water Association.

Desperate is no exaggeration. Local canals will stay dry and sandy unless the Central Valley experiences a lot of the storms we are expecting over the next several days.

McFarland said the Central Valley is coming off a record five-year drought. With the least amount of runoff ever recorded for that time span on the Kings River.

The Valley has a lot of catching up to do if it hopes to ever get out of it's current extreme drought status.

"Just as one storm is not going to bring us out of the drought. It could rain 2 to 3 inches and 2 to 3 inches next week and the week after and we'd still be saying we're still not out of a drought," said McFarland.

McFarland said the mountains are where it really counts. Rainfall is great on the Valley floor but snowpack is even better.

Ryan Jacobson with the Fresno County Farm Bureau said growers are eagerly watching rainfall numbers but are more focused on how the rain will tally up over the next four months.

"This is definitely a good sign. Any time you get these storm events you gotta remember on the Valley floor we're usually looking at 10 to 11 inches. So when you have a storm that's potentially going to dump an inch that's a big part of your annual precipitation."

Farmers are just hoping this year isn't a repeat of last year where November and December saw strong rainfall but January and February were pretty arid.

"It's very unfortunate that a lot of the focus has been taken off of the drought because this is just as bad this year as it's been the last couple of years," said Jacobson.

Overall, though, farmers are excited about this rain event.

This rain isn't expected to bring any damage to local crops as most of the summer harvest is done.
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