March 30, 2017
This article shares what the FarmX team has heard and experienced firsthand in the Central Valley of California:
Worsening drought conditions, a boom in the water well drilling industry and complete water uncertainty going forward.
“Now in its fourth year, the Climate and Agriculture Summit brought together farmers, ranchers, educators and policy makers to look for ways to deal with the drought, including conservation and management methods.
To learn about the drought’s ripple effects from those who experience them first-hand, a trio of ag representatives — Tom Willey, Joe Morris and Jutta Thoerner — shared their perspectives.
Willey and his wife, Denesse, own and operate T&D Willey Farms, a 75-acre certified organic operation in Madera County.
Willey, who started his farm in 1981, said in his region everyone is drilling wells because the Madera Irrigation District has no water to allocate to farmers. More than five years ago Willey drilled a new 500-foot well on his property, right before it started getting drier.
“It’s just a matter of time for all of us,” he said, referring to wells drying up.”