Fresno

Storms come as relief for Valley farmers dealing with drought conditions – Fresno, California

Fresno, California 2021-10-25 21:25:16 –

Fresno, CA (KFSN)-Green beans grown on this Clovis farm were ready for harvest. But now the crew has to wait a few days for the muddy lines to dry.

“This is chosen by machine,” says David Sarabian. “Hopefully, we can put the machine on a sunny day by this Thursday or Friday.”

Sarabian says most green beans should be okay as the dryness subsides, but there is some crop loss.

“There will still be some damage from beans that are actually on the soil or water,” he said. “Mold occurs, but it’s only part of the business.”

The slow, steady rain that soaked his farm was easier to handle than the windy storm he saw hitting the Bay Area on Sunday.

“Drinking water early in the season is very promising,” he said. “Hopefully it will continue, recharging our basin and raising the water table to its previous location.

In anticipation of a storm, 108 acres of winter wheat were planted early on the Fresno State University campus farm.

Orchard manager Rob Wilmot says rain helps crops germinate.

“Usually, the way it rains naturally is much better than irrigating wheat,” he said. “Then, instead of the water falling naturally and blocking the ground, it’s pushing the water against the surface of the soil.”

The storm also soaked the orchard. The soil is moist enough to easily disc between rows without sending dust into the air.

“We plant cover crops on all lands to increase soil sustainability,” says Wilmot. “We want to increase as much organic matter as possible in the field.”

Covered crops such as radishes are planted between pistachio trees.

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