Don’t get out the umbrellas just yet. University of Arizona agricultural meteorologist Paul Brown is suspicious of wet weather forecasts as are many of you.
“For many years, I have not trusted climate models, yet over the last 3-4 years they’ve done a pretty good job correctly predicting wet weather biases in the Southwest, including wet summer monsoon patterns,” Brown says.
The National Weather Service reports an El Niño wet weather pattern is finally in place – about six months later than expected....More
Mark Killian, tapped in April as the new director of the Arizona Department of Agriculture (ADA), is quickly finding a new home with his rural constituents on the issues and challenges which lay ahead for the Grand Canyon State’s $17 billion farming industry.
The Killian family has deep Arizona farming roots with more than a century in production agriculture.
“Agriculture has been a part of my life – I love it,” said Killian, who grows cotton, wheat, and alfalfa and raises beef on about 1,700 acres in the state....More
When most western farmers look in a crystal ball, they see themselves using less water. The real questions are how much less and how will farmers get there?
Farmers are not being paranoid in thinking that cities are after their water. The cities do want some agricultural water, but they don’t need that much....More
The devastating drought in California has created at least one positive result for the state’s farmers. It’s proving that they have few friends, maybe none, in the radical environmentalist community.
For most farmers this is not news. For years they have listened to the harping of the ‘enviros’ about pesticides, about genetically modified organisms (GMOs), about food contamination on dozens of levels, and about endangerment of wildlife habitats.
The list goes on....More
The California almond industry continues to be challenged by mainstream media and others for its water use in a state trying to keep its – uh – head above water during the fourth consecutive year of drought.
It’s not just almonds under public scrutiny but California agriculture as a whole.
Those wearing the ‘almond hat’ can certainly share ‘lids’ with the western alfalfa industry which gets regular jabs for water used to grow feed for dairy cows to produce milk, ice cream, and other dairy products....More
The price some farmers are paying for water to keep crops alive makes the cost of desalting sea water downright reasonable, but California’s seaside residents are not convinced.
Even though the experience for desalinating water from the Pacific Ocean as it borders many California communities has been mixed, many inland farmers who may never benefit from the process think it should become the top alternative to current sources of water supply....More
As the planet’s population continues its growth towards 9 billion people in the next few decades, food production needs to shift into full-speed-ahead mode.
This includes more non-traditional, reusable water-based farming.
“We will need all forms of food including those grown through aquaculture, aquaponics, saltwater farming, plus growing edible seaweed,” says Kevin Fitzsimmons, veteran fish farming researcher and director of the University of Arizona’s (UA) Office of International Agricultural Programs....More