John Garner farms rice and walnuts in Glenn County. Though he is busy harvesting both crops now, Garner says rice acreage was down due to water cutbacks and there was a problem getting the longer season rice varieties in the ground early enough.
“There were cutbacks due to the 75 percent water allocation. That amount of water sounds really good, but we were also unable to plant before May 1st. So, in essence, we were prevented from planting some of the longer-season rice because you have to get those varieties in by April 15th-20th,” said Garner.
Still, Garner said his rice harvest this week is going very well. “My walnut crop had an excellent spring for pollination and a good summer, supposedly a warmer summer. We didn’t have the high temperatures or real strong north winds, so the crop just flourished,” said Garner.
And while the 2013-2014 walnut crop is predicted to be a record, Garner questions how that can be true this year. “I have a good normal crop. There are areas in the state where walnut and almond production are off upwards of 30 percent, and I think that’s due to this drought, the water cutbacks and the lowering of the groundwater tables,” said Garner.
“We were fortunate in our areas because we didn’t have nearly their shortage in water . You win some years, and then you’re on the other end some years,” he said.