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Storms wreak havoc for agriculture in multiple California counties

Widespread flooding from continuing atmospheric storms have caused extensive damage for California agriculture, with more storms expected this month. Water from recent storms flooded dairies and carried silt and debris into citrus groves in Tulare County, flooded fields of leafy greens and berries in Monterey County and impacted livestock and feed crops in Humboldt County. Executive Director Norm Groot of the Monterey County Farm Bureau said this month’s damages there could top January’s estimated $336 million in agricultural storm losses.

Huge snowpack and rising reservoirs boost California water hopes

California’s water supply is benefitting from continued storms and flooding. Heavy snow in the Sierra Nevada brought snowpack levels to 222% of normal as of March 16. Meanwhile, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order that lifted restrictions to allow floodwaters to be diverted to farms for groundwater recharge. The State Water Project will conserve 237,0000 acre-feet of water to help restore depleted aquifers. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is diverting another 600,000 acre-feet to boost groundwater supplies and wildlife refuges.

Imperial Valley region stands by its alfalfa production

As Colorado River water supplies shrank dramatically over the past three years of drought, critics increasingly took aim at alfalfa growers in California’s Imperial Valley. But the region’s farmers and a leading agricultural researcher are defending alfalfa production in the desert region. They say alfalfa plays a major role in the globalized food system and is a key contributor to the Imperial Valley economy. The crop particularly thrives in the region. “We probably have the highest yield and highest quality alfalfa in the world,” says farmer Larry Cox.

EPA updates risk assessments for pesticides for tree crops, vegetables and cotton

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released updated risk assessments for spray drift from four organophosphate pesticides. The materials—diazinon, ethoprop, tribufos and phosmet—are used in agriculture for fruit and nut trees, vegetables and cotton, and for a variety of purposes in nonagricultural settings. The EPA is undertaking a lengthy registration review process for them.

A Service of the California Farm Bureau

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