Floods Devastate Crops in Northern California as Climate Concerns Shift
As California’s agricultural communities continue to experience waves of atmospheric rivers, the state’s climate concerns have shifted from drought to flooding.
New data shows that almost two-thirds of the state is no longer in drought, but massive flooding remains a problem for many farmers.
Some are going to extremes to save their crops, such as a central California farmer who used pickups filled with dirt to plug a levee breach near the Tuolumne River.
The loss of two trucks saved a valuable pistachio crop in an area not far from the major levee breach along the river.
However, the recent storms have prevented bees from pollinating almond trees, which could mean lower yields and higher prices.
Hail storms have also done damage, and the ground is too wet for planting, which could impact the nation’s tomato supply.
Experts estimate that at least one-fifth of strawberry crops may be lost in areas not flooded.
The fixes for the inadequate Bar Haro levee system have been mired in politics and bureaucracy since the Army Corps of Engineers deemed it inadequate in 1963.
Despite these challenges, California farmers are getting creative in dealing with floodwaters, and some are willing to do whatever it takes to protect their crops.
However, as more storms are expected to hit the state in the coming weeks, more farmers will likely feel the impact of the flooding.