Tag: growing produce

The Impact Of Drought On Vegetable Production

drought_plantWater is a precious commodity. Just ask California growers trying to navigate through a drought that is said to be one of the worst since the 1500s.

In March, the California Farm Water Coalition upgraded its estimate of acres growers will leave idle this year to 800,000, up from 500,000, because of a lack of water. According to USDA’s Drought Monitor, the drought in 95% of the state is being called “Severe” to “Exceptional.”

What can California and growers in the West do? Unfortunately, options are limited. Conservation is an obvious solution — and most growers in the West are already well down that road. During the last couple of decades, many have turned their attention to drip irrigation, which is considered to be the most efficient way to water crops.

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Good Water Management: A Wise Business Decision

Increasing water costs and water scarcity are becoming critical issues that are affecting the bottom lines for growers’ businesses. Whether these issues are the result of droughts, environmental concerns, or water regulations, the fact is that growers need to improve their water management techniques.

In a recent online article in Growing Produce, Michael Cahn highlights how growers in California are utilizing drip irrigation to improve their water management and crop quality. In one paragraph, Cahn writes, “In the Central Valley where surface water allocations can be limited during drought years, drip has allowed growers to farm more acres with less water. Besides saving water, drip provides more management options for growers. Under drip, tractor operations are less likely to be hampered by saturated furrows and application uniformity under drip is not affected by wind, which is common in the afternoon along the coast. Additionally, drip can reduce foliar disease pressure in crops by keeping leaves dry.”

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