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.


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