Serious drought damage to $5 billion California rice industry
Sean Doherty looks out on rice paddy land his family has been farming in Colusa County for five generations through Mother Nature-made booms and busts. Farmers on the western side of Colusa County, raise 65% of all the rice grown in California. In a normal year, Doherty raises as much as ten thousand acres of rice on his own and leased land. But in this third season of hard drought, he will plant nowhere near those 10,000 acres. … The reason: Shasta Reservoir, the state’s largest reservoir by far, is so starved for water as the drought progressed, his water allotment has been cut from 100%, to 75%, to 18%.
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