Water shortages that continue to plague California are increasingly affecting the number of acres devoted to growing our food. Farmers are making tough choices on which crops and how much to plant in the face of crushing water supply cuts. The state could see as much as 691,000 acres taken out of production this year, a 75 percent increase over last year and 151,000 acres more than the previous high in 2015.
Critical for consumers are the crops that won’t make it to the grocery store because of insufficient water supplies. Fresh fruits and vegetables, along with processing tomatoes, strawberries, citrus, peaches, broccoli, and rice are among the crops impacted when farm water supplies are cut off. It’s estimated that up to 40 percent of California’s irrigated cropland will receive little or no surface water this year.