West Side Farmer/Rancher Says Drought is Tragedy
February 27, 2014
John Harris, owner of Harris Ranch, recently weighed in about how the drought is affecting his farming operation in Coalinga.
“This is probably the most depressing time I’ve seen in agriculture on the West Side,” he said. “We have employees that have been here for 30 or 40 years who are facing getting laid off.”
Harris said he and his crew have spent a lot effort to develop trees, which are doing well, that are facing the chance of being taken out.
Harris lamented, “You drive around and there’s nothing green.”
“It’s just a tragedy,” he said, “but we’re just trying to sort out how best to cope with it. We’re looking at drilling more holes and trying to buy water here and there.”
“There are just a few things we can do but nothing that is a real silver bullet,” Harris commented. "We’re probably 70% fallow right now.”
In terms of a bright side, Harris said, “If there’s anything good about it, this makes it so bad that it becomes so evident that the Endangered Species Act needs to be changed. It brings it home that you just can’t live with that.”