Water crisis sign.
May 26, 2016

California Still Faces $1.5 B in Agricultural Drought Losses

 |  By: Jim Dickrell

California dairy producers, cattle ranchers, crop farmers and produce and nut growers still face up $1.5 billion in losses from persistent drought conditions, according to a report issued by CoBank today.

That’s despite near normal rainfall this spring and snowfall over the winter. “Although California’s cities, rural communities and farmland are less parched today than they were a year ago, water remains in short supply,” says Leonard Sahling, vice president with CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange Division.

“While for some areas water allocations will be more than double last year’s amounts, growers will still fallow up to 350,000 acres this year.”

Dairy producers and cattle ranchers face the biggest risk from higher feed costs. “Fallowing decisions will affect the price and availability of locally grown feed ingredients,” Sahling says. “However, grain and feed prices have declined across the nation, mitigating this risk.”