Historic rain causes problems for some San Joaquin County farmers

Local News

STOCKTON, Calif. (KTXL) — Despite the historic rainfall totals from the weekend, that much rain in such a short amount of time caused problems for some Central Valley farmers. 

Bruce Blodgett with the San Joaquin County Farm Bureau said the record rainfall from last weekend was encouraging but it’s not enough to move the needle on the statewide drought.

“We need well above normal rainfall and snowpack this year to kind of regain what we’ve lost in the past couple of years,” Blodgett explained. “So, it’s something again, we’re optimistic. We try to be optimistic always in this industry, but we have a long way to go.”

Blodgett said the rain was helpful for some growers.

“Anybody who’s done with harvest. That’s the key here. If they were done with harvests or putting things you know, putting things away, they’re starting to wrap up their season. That’s great,” Blodgett said.

But he said the rain was also harmful for other growers.

“Mold is a huge issue. That moisture, they’re going to have to try to get that moisture out of that to be able to use it,” Blodgett said.

Just a couple of days ago, nearby fields had ankle-deep standing water, which the Farm Bureau said was a problem for several crops that were waiting to be harvested. 

“We’ve seen hay out, tomatoes out, walnuts out, other crops out that they’re going to be damaged. Bottom line, wine grapes, too, for that matter,” Blodgett listed. “So, there’s commodities out there that didn’t get in before that rainstorm and they can see some pretty significant damage due to that rain.”

Blodgett said the drought has been a challenge for farmers.

“Not only do we have a natural drought, but we have kind of a man-made drought by the agencies that are restricting our ability to use water. All of this is making it more and more difficult to grow food,” Blodgett explained.

According to the farm bureau, growers won’t know the true impact of the rain for months.

“We’re not just a place in California that grows food for California, we grow food for the world and everyone’s going to suffer because of that,” Blodgett said.

Agricultural officials said farmers are trying to stay optimistic but the continued water woes have major consequences if we don’t get more rain.

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