Farms feel drought’s wrath

A view of the California drought from Marine One during President Obama's visit earlier this year. (Photo: White House)

California’s severe drought is having a profound effect on farming and an unprecedented amount of acreage likely will be left fallow, the Brown administration’s top agriculture official said today.

Food and Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross told an Assembly budget subcommittee that “no doubt there will be a tremendous impact on agriculture this year.”

In the last major drought, she said, “there were 285,000 acres fallowed, $340 million revenue impact.” This time, she added, “those numbers will be much higher.”

“We’ve never been in this place before,” she said.

The department intends to post a drought action plan later in the day, Ross noted.


  • CaTaxpyr

    The impact from the drought would not be as bad had agriculture not bet on a constant supply of water and planted permanent crops. But, big Corporate AG assumed political clout would make them first to get the water. Sec Ross needs to crawl out of her Pollyanna world and recognize that Westside farmers had a choice and now they suffer the consequences…there should be no bailout!

  • CharliePeters

    BP-DuPont ethanol fuel affect the beef?

  • Pingback: Daily Digest: Drought plan eases standards for Delta, Army Corps seeking comment on Delta dams, California lobbying for drought aid in DC and more … » MAVEN'S NOTEBOOK | MAVEN'S NOTEBOOK

  • Cannon Michael

    The zero allocations for the westside CVP contractors, the SWP contractors and the Friant Division is affecting many more acres than just the “Westside”. The truth is that the drought has been made much worse by the over-regulation in the Delta. Over 1.5 million acre feet has flowed out the Golden Gate in the past two months while only a fraction has been exported for farms, communities and refuges. The fish take has been very low at the pumps and all the recent trawls show that the fish are not present near the pumps.

    The whole “big Corporate AG” line is really played out – do you have data to back up that claim? Have you been down to the valley and met any of the farmers you are vilifying? The vast majority of the farms are family owned and operated – just because some have incorporated for tax reasons doesn’t make them bad or not family farms. Stop the rhetoric and mischaracterizations.

    No one is asking for a bailout, just that some water be delivered to provide food and jobs. Why not support California farmers who are the most regulated agriculturalists in the world?

  • CharliePeters

    Does BP, DuPont, Tide ethanol affect the drinking water supply?

Support for Capitol Weekly is Provided by: