The supposedly apocalyptic California drought is having little impact of agriculture in the Central Valley. However, this is probably because new acreage using groundwater is replacing low-value crops. Pumping large amounts of groundwater is not sustainable as a long-term strategy. However, the real damage caused so far by the California drought is environmental, like disappearing fish, not economic. Water blogger John Flecks suggests in his newsletter “is that farmers are adapting to drought with shifts in their operations that are softening the disruptions. The disruptions are still there, but may not be as apocalyptic as the hyperventilation would suggest.”
From Valley Economy.
While I have a long record of saying that drought impacts on the economy tend to be overblown, even I was surprised by the minimal drought impacts in the data released this morning.
There is virtually no difference in farm employment between 2014 and 2013 in the 3 counties that are thought to be most devastated by the drought.