California citrus growers face a long, dry summer without water for trees. For many California growers, this means a busy summer removing citrus groves since the trees simply will not last that long without water.
California Citrus Mutual will spend the summer highlighting the catastrophe with press conferences in hot, dusty citrus groves. This will illustrate for local and national media the failure of California and federal water policy.
On thid day, Gless Farms in Kern County, Calif. was removing 60 acres of seedless Valencia oranges. Owner John Gless recently rebudded 25-year-old citrus trees with the seedless variety, which was nearing production when state and federal officials announced growers would get zero surface water for crops in 2014.
Ironically, while Gless was removing his orchard due to a lack of water. Meanwhile, sprinklers irrigated ice plant and other vegetation along the freeway in nearby Bakersfield as temperatures neared 100 degrees F.