Last week California governor Jerry Brown issued the 1st-ever statewide mandatory water restrictions to the state of California with the majority of the emphasis on towns and cities. Largely missing from his messages was the agriculture industry, which uses more water, nearly 80% of the water consumption, than anything else in the state.
While farmers were shielded from the required 25% reduction in water use, they have been ordered to report more information about their use of water than before. Agriculture has taken some major hits over the last few years in California with ground water and aquifers drying up.
This drought is more than just one state’s problem. California farmers grow more than a third of the nations vegetables and 2/3 of the nations fruits and nuts so this historic drought in California has significant impacts on the entire nation. This is already having impacts on pocketbooks as consumers have started paying more for groceries as prices have rose as much as 6% over the last year.
More important this could be part of a bigger disaster. There is a major drought throughout the West and Southwest. Oklahoma and Texas are also seeing droughts, which are affecting ranchers in these areas as well.
The University of Minnesota looked at this drought and a new study has estimated that this might be the worst drought in over 1,200 years. NASA scientists have warned of the possibility of this drought being a part of a much longer lasting “mega-droughts” with climate change impacting the US. These could last possibly 30-40 years instead of just a few years.
On a positive note and interestingly enough, while the draught has affected most of the West in negative ways, California’s drought has actually positively impacted some of the wine grape harvests. The Wine Institute said that the 2014 wine grate harvest was the “third in a string of great vintages this decade” since they had a mild winter and spring. Wine grapes use relatively low amounts of water and drought years tend to produce good quality California wine.
If you are in need of financing to get your farm operation through the drought, contact Farm Plus Financial to discuss your options while rates are still at record low levels. Call Farm Plus Financial today at 866.929.5585 or start your application online using the form below.
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Farm Plus Financial is the trusted source for America's Agricultural Financing. The Federal Reserve has indicated that rates will be rising in 2015 so it is important that you start the farm loan process now to lock in a record low rate before they rise. Call Farm Plus Financial at 866.929.5585 or start your loan application online and a loan officer will call you to discuss your operation.