Drought; as bad as you think - The Packer

Drought; as bad as you think

05/19/2014 05:05:00 PM
Tom Karst

There are some citrus groves south of Porterville which for the first time in commercial history will get zero water, and this is after serious freeze damage in December. Not pretty.

Again the effects on employment and ag support industries will become ‘more in the news’ as we move into summer.


But Eastes observes there is always hope, writing:

  I remember the drought in Australia a few years ago. Just when the ‘end’ was in sight for NSW, they had record floods over a 6 month period and everyone ‘forgot’ about the drought.


We can hope. And Eastes points out the El Nino effect is predicted by some to result in a “wet phase” for Western states in 2014-15,

 And now we watch and wait. Check out this link to the California drought page and here is California Department of Food and Ag drought page.

The U.S. drought portal is found here  and the USDA ERS drought page is here.

From that report, I saw an interesting nugget about the role of crop insurance in measuring the drought effect. That needs more exploration; how will federal crop insurance mitigate losses from the California drought? Because the glass is not half full this year for anyone.

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