Central Valley Farmers Cope with Water Supply Cut, Convert to Drip Irrigation

Cutbacks on water deliveryfrom the federal Central Valley Project has left farmers, like Ted Sheeley, looking for ways to cuttheir water use. Sheeley, whofarms in the Huron area, western Kings County, and eastern Fresno County,has traditionally used flood and sprinkler irrigation, but with the water cutbacks, it is difficult to fulfill his processing tomato and cotton contracts. Sheeley has begunconverting his flood and sprinkler irrigated fields to drip irrigation tooptimize his water useandplans to be completely converted within 3 to 4 years.

“We’re investing in our water systems,” says Sheeley. And it makes sense. Westlands officials anticipate thatthe region could lose more than $1 billion ineconomic activity and $350 million in revenue due to the water cutbacks. Drip irrigation not only can help farmers maximize their water use, but can help them survive during periods of water scarcity.

Click here toread the full articlepublished by the California Farm Bureau Federation.

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