Making The Best Of It
You don't need to work in the Ag industry or live in California to know that our state is mired in a historic drought. Farmers are facing their second consecutive year of water cuts. And more cuts loom on the horizon for senior water rights holders.
Despite these circumstances, we as farmers have a job to do. So here we are, off and running on another rice season, doing what we can to make the best of things. We are about two months into the season. All the acres we could get water for are now planted. Things have developed slowly so far, mostly due to unseasonably cool temperatures, but warmer weather is on the horizon, so we expect things to start picking up soon.
Years like this illustrate the importance of precision farming practices, particularly the use of GPS leveling equipment. The flatter the field, the more efficient we are with our water use. Every acre/foot we pump is heavily monitored and accounted for, which means accurately leveled fields are becoming less of a luxury and more mandatory.
As we press on into the season, it's difficult to know what the future will hold. In the meantime we will continue to do what we always do: grow bountiful crops of California Rice, while implementing as many conservation practices as we can.