Ag industry looking forward to the benefits of record rainfall

KSEE24 News

FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) – Officials with the California Department of Water Resources held a snow survey at Phillips Station in the Sierra Nevada mountains.

Data from the survey is key to predicting the amount of water that will melt and run off to state reservoirs and eventually irrigate Central Valley crops. Officials with the DWR say even though rain and snow are above average this year the drought is far from over.

“We had record rainfall in October during that Category 5 atmospheric river, but that storm was actually warmer, so it wasn’t actually a big snow producer,” said snow survey manager Sean De Guzman.

However, De Guzman adds that reservoirs continue to be below average and groundwater is still recovering.

“We still have a long way to go for our wet season and we need more and more of these storms to keep coming through.”

The recent wet and snowy conditions in the Central Valley has the Fresno County Farm Bureau excited.

“Considering where we’ve been with a dry last two years, this is a phenomenal start,” said Fresno County Farm Bureau CEO Ryan Jacobsen. “That snowpack in the Sierras is what makes or breaks the valley floor.”

Jacobsen adds that strong snowpack levels look promising for the upcoming irrigation season in the Central Valley.

“It’s that Sierra Nevada snowpack that allows that desert to bloom – and the fact that we’re able to grow crops here is because of that snowpack.”

Officials say last year’s snowpack was below normal, but this year’s snowpack levels are looking good and should provide some drought relief.

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