Looking at California agriculture as a whole, Crowder believes this year’s drought is the “industry’s greatest challenge” as the lack of water continues to increase production costs. Last year, drought impacted mainly producers in the San Joaquin Valley but this year the drought is a statewide problem.

Bids to purchase water in February – the beginning of the water season - topped $1,200 per acre foot. Zero state and federal water allocations are forcing growers to rely on groundwater which generally is lesser quality water than surface water.

In summary, Crowder said, “The general feeling is farmers will get through this year though it may significantly hurt the profitability of some people. The drought will cost every farmer more money.”

He noted, “The big worry is what will happen if the drought continues in 2015.”

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