Farmers preparing for possibility of rain Friday

CBS47 News

FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) – With the drought and the poor air quality the Central Valley has been experiencing, the possibility of rain on Friday is a welcoming sign.

The skies were less hazy Thursday compared to the beginning of the week. Ana Stone with the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District said some of the smoke was dispersed and the rain could also help.

But with the KNP Complex and Windy fires still burning, smoke on the Valley floor could still be expected.

“If those fires still continue, we might see some smoke next week as well,” Stone said.

The smoke also affects crops on the ground.

“That smoke screen we saw actually did delay some of our crops drying times simply because there was no sun shining through for almost a week’s time,” said Ryan Jacobsen, the CEO of the Fresno County Farm Bureau.

Better air quality benefits residents throughout the Valley, but especially farmworkers in the fields, who spend hours working outside.

“(The smoke) has been very detrimental to the air quality to both our agricultural crops and most importantly to our agricultural employees,” Jacobsen said.

As farmers expect rain, they’re preparing.

“A lot of our farmers are just hurrying as much as possible where possible to get the crops out of the field that are ready to go out. These types of storms, it’s really dependent upon what clouds you’re under,” Jacobsen said.

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