The drought situation in California continues to be a concern to farmers across the US because of its impacts on fruit and vegetable markets as well as dairy. In spite of hopes for a recovery this year due to El Nino and heavier than normal rainfall in December, since then rainfall in California has been sparse; San Francisco recorded zero precipitation in January for the first time ever. A number of news stories have covered the continuation of drought into its fourth year. My related story on atmospheric rivers today discusses the potential impact due to the atmospheric river event which is currently hitting the West Coast.
AgWeb describes how farmers are coping with the drought conditions, which are the worst in the southern half of the state, in this article. Among those affected are rice, almond and walnut growers.
The Los Angeles Times published a story showing how that California has greened up somewhat this year compared to last year but that snow packs have been drastically reduced, leading to concerns about water availability once the rainy period ends. AgWeb also produced an article describing the impacts on the reservoirs in the state.
One of the results of the drought has been the large increase in fields that are fallow due to lack of water. NASA provided a comparison set of maps which show the increase in idle fields in the California Central Valley here.