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Very Wet Winter Causes Trouble for Some Local Farmers

SACRAMENTO -- The wet winter has made it difficult for many valley farmers to harvest all their crops. Flooded fields have cause many fruits, nuts and vegetables to rot under water, while mud has made it difficult to reach those crops that have survived.

"The rain affected the oranges quite a bit, they got kind of soft... And then the rain and the wind knocked out a lot of the flowers on some of the stone fruits, the apricots and the peaches," said Norman Choy, whose in-laws run Bouris Farm in Orangevale, and he said they had to discard about half their orange crop. "They're not happy about it, but they're not going to not eat lunch tomorrow."

After farming for 28 years, Rob Montgomery planned ahead.

"They were calling for it to be wet and cool, so I didn't plant as much lettuces and things that would be more damaged," Montgomery said.

He said while this wasn't the worst winter he's seen, with many orchards still under water, few farmers will get 100 percent of their crops back.

"We had some damage to some broccoli and some crops due to too much rain, but all and all not so bad," he said.

"This is part of what I heard when I met with the farmers, that some of their fields simply fell into the river," Congressman John Garamendi said.

He said his district saw too many levee failures, a problem he's working to secure funding to fix.

"We can't forget about the flooding, we can't forget about the drought. We have to take all of this and put in place the proper infrastructure," Garamendi said.

While there were a lot of crops damaged by all the rain, there was one type of crop that actually flourished.

"The mushrooms love it! They're grown off the ground so the flooding doesn't matter. The mud doesn't matter, they love the humidity of it," Dakota Walker said.

But Walker said harvesting those shrooms on her farm, Dragon Gourmet Mushrooms, near Sloughhouse is more expensive now due to the difficulty of the mud.

"It takes longer, I have to be more careful because I don't want to injure myself or drop the mushrooms in the mud because then we can't use them, we have to throw them away," Walker said.