This year, a different practice is being utilized, which involves running sulfuric acids in the irrigation water at each application.
“We need quality river water to flush the minerals that have accumulated on soil surface. In the meantime, we apply more and more water conditioners, to treat irrigation water,” Lack said.
Even with treatment, water could be an issue.
“High salinity levels could impact overall production somewhat, so we expect maybe lower than normal production in some cases. However, water quality varies from county to county, so those with better water will have a better crop,” Franzoy said.
In addition, growers have to deal with the added cost of production that comes with running pumps for irrigation.
“It certainly costs more to run the pumps versus irrigating with surface water because pumps use diesel, gas or electricity,” Franzoy said.
To compensate, growers are hoping for higher prices to match steady demand.
“We’re hoping for higher f.o.b.s this season. And we do expect a slightly smaller crop overall than we’ve had in previous years,” Franzoy said.