Vote Now! Papa Murphy’s Final Quarter Friday Night Favorite

Central Valley Farmers Saving Crops in Dry January

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

WESTLEY-

The ongoing drought in California could mean higher grocery costs for consumers statewide.

The January sun shines down on Daniel Bays' Ranch, a business he's grown up in.

“A couple weeks all these little buds that are sticking out in the branch should be turning into flowers,” Daniel Bays, Owner of Bays Ranch told us Thursday.

Land that he's been watching grow drier as the years go by.

“For us personally, we’re looking $100,000 better loss,” Bays said.

Bays' and Ranch Hand Keith Yamamoto with Bobby Yamamoto Farms in Westley, said they usually depend on the San Joaquin River and the Delta Mendota system to water their crops and because of the ongoing drought they've had to rely on well water.

"Every year the allocation of water fluctuates and this year, you know, we have really no supply from that source,” Keith Yamamoto, a Ranch Hand with Bobby Yamamoto Farms explained.

They claimed, storing well water can be expensive and the quality may be inconsistent, forcing farmers to uproot some of their plants.

"We’re not planting any crops in them. So we’ve pulled the orchards out, it’s just an open piece of dirt and we’ll leave it that way probably for another two or three years,” Bays said.

The drought is also impacting their overhead costs. Bays told us he's hand to layoff some workers because of the lack of work.

"That’s three or four guys that could be working for his family they’re supporting, crops that are going to a processor somewhere, that’s many more jobs,” he said. "Ultimately it will, it will raise the price of food. As a farmer we’re more of a price taker than a price setter. "

Despite the lack of rain, Bays and Yamamoto know all too well what it's like to farm in the Central Valley and continue to hope for the best.

“I think we look at things, we try to be optimistic about things but plan for the worst,” Bays said.

"The water situation is cyclical just like anything else. It’s tough right now. At some point it will come back,” Yamamoto told us.

Bays also said, their wheat crops hasn't been doing too well because of the lack of rain.