Winter on the Farm

Less Time to Chill

Cherries are finicky trees. They don’t like it when it gets too hot, when there’s not enough rain, and when it doesn’t stay cold enough during the winter. For the last few winters, California’s cherries have had all three of these environmental stresses and responded by producing fewer cherries.

Climate Change Raises California’s Chances of Drought

While the scientific jury is still out as to whether or not human-caused climate change is the source of extreme storms and other natural disasters, scientists say climate change has increased global warming, which in turn increases California’s risk for drought, according to a September 2014 report examining recent extreme weather events.

Hay Fever

hay-fieldThe severe drought that California and the west is suffering is the worst in more than a hundred years.  It’s so bad that in February, President Obama pledged $183 million in federal funds for drought relief programs. Ranchers, who rely on the rains to grow grass on which  to pasture their animals, have been especially hard-hit.

Perspectives on Drought Part 2: Jeff Main of Good Humus Produce

Perspectives on Drought Part 1: Alexis Robertson of Skyelark Ranch

sheep2-skyelark Image courtesy of Skyelark Ranch, Brooks CA

Recently, California’s growers and water districts approached Governor Jerry Brown to declare California in a state of drought. It has been one of the driest winters on record and the state’s reservoirs, snow pack, streams and rivers have been greatly depleted. Here in the valley we are holding our breath anxiously anticipating the start of the rainy season. We hope that it will come quickly and quench the sunbaked hills.

California’s Bitter Drought

image courtesy of NOAA Image courtesy of NOAA

California Governor Jerry Brown declared on January 17, 2014, what farmers and ranchers have known for some time -- the state is in a drought, possibly the worst one in living memory. Farmers, ranchers, wildlife, and consumers are all likely to be impacted by a third year of so far record low precipitation.