Water Series: 2009 and Now

Sabrina Citrus, Corn, Cotton, Field & Row Crops, Forage Crops, General, Grain, Specialty Crops, Tree, nut & vine crops, Water

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We continue our series on the water shortage with a look at what it could mean for farm employees, and a program that can help. Sabrina Hill has more.
Click to open or download audio report.

It was just four years ago, in 2009, that water cutbacks led to nearly 300,000 acres going fallow for more about a $340-million loss in agriculture-related revenues for California’s Central Valley. It caused a trickle down effect. Farmers lost money and there were fewer crops to manage, pack and ship. That led to nearly 10,000 agriculture-related jobs that were cut.

Now at the start of water year 2014, experts say the Central Vally can expect another very dry year, and that could mean more layoffs.

In addition to a number of other programs created to help farm workers and others during layoffs, the California Employment Development Department recently announced a 6.4 million dollar grant that will retrain jobless migrant and seasonal farm workers statewide in four other job fields.

For more information on the program, click here.