Storm brings much needed rain to Central Valley farmers amid drought

Local News

FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) – With the rain gone, we are tracking the impact of Monday’s record-setting storm across our region.

Monday’s rain was a welcome sight for many farmers after a very dry season.

“It is early, but that’s okay we got a lot of catching up to do with our precipitation to get out of this drought,” says Joe del Bosque, a local farmer who knows all too well the benefits the rain can have on crops.

“This is a good thing for us, doesn’t hurt our crops at this time of year,” says del Bosque.

However, he says getting too much water can also have a negative impact.

“If the rains are early like in early October, it could disrupt harvesting of crops where they can’t get in the field with machinery,” says del Bosque.

Ryan Jacobsen with the Fresno county farm bureau says the amount of rain we saw was a good start to the season and expects little to no damage done from Monday’s weather event.

“The only thing that was quite unusual from this storm was the incredible winds that were associated with it,” says Jacobsen. “So, I do know there are some downed trees, particularly almonds trees, and broken branches, but that’s pretty minor in the overall scheme of things.”

Even though the rain did not have any adverse effects on his farm, del Bosque says neighboring farms were impacted.

“There were quite a few trees that were knocked over, people are pulling them out of their orchards right now, and those trees are lost,” says del Bosque.

While the rain was much needed, Jacobsen says it wasn’t enough.

“We have a long way to go just to get back to normal, but I’ll take a start like that, I mean that was a terrific start, it’s just a matter of we still got a lot more to our water season,” says Jacobsen.

Jacobsen says the Central Valley needs to see more rain to build up that snowpack in the Sierra Nevada that will determine how much water is allocated to farmers next year.

“This was not a drought-buster, this is just a single storm that while it was good, we have a long way to go until we reach next year, hopefully it’s a sign of good things to come,” says Jacobsen.

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