Posted March 3, 2014
While California received significant rainfall last week, it was not enough to offset years of drought, according to a Reuters article available here.
“Despite these recent storms, it would still have to rain every other day until around May to reach average precipitation totals, and even then we would still be in a drought due to the last two dry years,” said Richard Stapler, spokesman for the California Natural Resources Agency.
California is in its third year of a drought “that may break all records in the most populous U.S. state, where lawmakers” recently passed a series of drought relief proposals to Governor Jerry Brown.
California farmers say that another year of drought could be catastrophic, according to a Western Farm Press article available here.
The World Ag Expo 2014 Water Forum in Tulare, California, included two panel discussions on the current drought and the “outlook for legislation and regulatory changes to the water delivery system to the nation’s leading agricultural production area.”
The producers on the panel said they would ask what they could expect from the “rollout of the legislation, primarily the Feinstein-Boxer legislation.”
Federal drought relief passed in the 2014 farm bill has also been expedited for livestock disaster assistance through the livestock indemnity program (LIP); the livestock forage program (LFP); and a program of emergency relief to producers of livestock, honey bees and farm raised fish not covered by the two previous programs (ELAP).
Other drought relief programs include: funding through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP); the Emergency Watershed Program (EWP), and through USDA- Rural Development’s Emergency Community Water Assistance.
For more information on disaster assistance programs, please visit the National Agricultural Law Center’s website here.