California Drought – Not Good News

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The World Agricultural Expo.

The largest Farm Equipment show in the world this week was a window into the frantic struggle to fight the devastating effects of the drought, and how to improve water irrigation efficiency and achieve better crop yields in the coming growing seasons.

Comments coming from those attending focused on growers looking for more efficient irrigation practices to minimize irrigation waste, and boost crop yields and quality.

California’s $45 billion agriculture sector consumes some 80% of the states water supply.

The need to use available water sources more efficiently has driven greater interest in Drip-Irrigation in areas using other irrigation methods.

California has much room to improve, according to Claire O’Connor of the Natural Resources Defense Council. Data shows that more than half of the state 7.3 irrigated acres rely on water-intensive “flood irrigation” which uses 35% more water than even basic sprinkler irrigation.

Growers need to be thinking long-term, about what kind of irrigation equipment they will need to invest in. The amount of water needed to grow 1 stalk lettuce is 1.5 gallons, where the amount to produce a patty of beef could be as much as 616 gallons. – Tulare, California Feb. 11, 2014

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