Farm Progress

Photos: Citrus growers remove groves due to drought

tfitchette

June 10, 2014

11 Slides

<p>Citrus grower John Gless had every intention of seeing this young seedless Valencia grove move into production, but a lack of surface water to growers all across California this year has forced farmers to fallow nearly one million acres of land and remove permanent crops because the water available in reservoirs paid for in part by past generations of California farmers must legally be allowed to flow out to sea, untouched and unused by those who grow the food and fiber that feed and clothe a nation.</p>

California citrus growers face a long, dry summer without water for trees. For many California growers, this means a busy summer removing citrus groves since the trees simply will not last that long without water.

California Citrus Mutual will spend the summer highlighting the catastrophe with press conferences in hot, dusty citrus groves. This will illustrate for local and national media the failure of California and federal water policy.

On thid day, Gless Farms in Kern County, Calif. was removing 60 acres of seedless Valencia oranges. Owner John Gless recently rebudded 25-year-old citrus trees with the seedless variety, which was nearing production when state and federal officials announced growers would get zero surface water for crops in 2014.

Ironically, while Gless was removing his orchard due to a lack of water. Meanwhile, sprinklers irrigated ice plant and other vegetation along the freeway in nearby Bakersfield as temperatures neared 100 degrees F.

About the Author(s)

tfitchette

Associate Editor, Western Farm Press

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