California tallies drought-related losses - The Packer

California tallies drought-related losses

02/05/2009 02:00:00 AM

California county agricultural commissioners estimate that the state's growers have lost $309 million from the ongoing drought.

And that doesn't count indirect losses, such as loss of ag chem dealers' loss of fertilizer sales from less planted acreage, according to a California Department of Food and Agriculture news release.

Of that amount, vegetable and melon growers incurred nearly $99 million in losses, with orchard and vineyards suffering $600,000.

The largest losses were in the San Joaquin Valley, where growers have fallowed thousands of acres of land. The ag commissioners reported $226 million in loosses, followed by Northern California with $31 million, the Sacramento Valley with $22.6 million and the Central Coast with $21.9 million.

The losses are expected to grow as officials with both state and federal water projects have warned that they will make scant or no deliveries this year. They blame a snowpack that is about 60 percent of average and environmental constraints for the delivery reductions.

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