Calif drought: What crops will be hit first and hardest?

SACRAMENTO - California farmers have begun scaling back on planting crops due to a lack of water .

You may be already paying higher prices for vegetables such as broccoli and lettuce at the supermarket.

Friday, the water resources board announced farmers south of the delta will receive zero water from the state. But many farmers had already begun to cut back on production before that announcement. Little rain last year forced farmers to start scaling back in December.

"There's going to be a lot of land fallow this year. we're expecting at least 5-hundred thousand acres of farm land in California," Mike Wade, Executive Director of the California Farm Water Coalition. said. "Consumers can expect to see shortages. Consumers can expect to see a shortage of crops in some vegetables and fruit crops that they would normally see in the grocery stores such as broccoli, lettuce, tomatoes, things like that."

Fields left unplanted will create a ripple effect on the state's economy with fewer jobs for farm workers and truck drivers.

"We saw in December a decline in 75 percent on the demand for water which is what people would have been using to plant crops back then. So we know those crops aren't in the ground now, they are not going to be planted in the spring," Wade said.

Wade added, "There are some districts that have water that they have banked from previous years. Or farmers that have purchased water and put it in storage but it simply it such a small part of what's needed for a vibrant agricultural economy, we are still facing shortages."


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