A federal agency's recent announcement that the California's Central Valley will get zero percent water allocation this year was devastating for farmers already dealing with the worst drought seen in decades. One of the world's most productive agricultural regions, the enormous valley is reeling after the driest year in more than a century. But last week, the Department of Interior's Bureau of Reclamation, which supplies water to a third of the irrigated farmland in California through a 500-mile network of canals and tunnel, said it won't be able to deliver any of the water sought by farmers.
"It goes beyond devastation, you're going to see farms that have been in business 30 and 40 years, they do not have any water, they are out of business," said Dennis Falaschi, general manager of the Panoche Water District.
The USDA Farm Service Agency has put in place a disaster assistance program for Livestock owners and farmers. The USDA has declared 54 counties in California as primary natural disaster area because of the drought. There is assistance for livestock owners, emergency farm loans, noninsured crop disaster assistance and many others.
The USDA California Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced that the Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) will provide funding and technical assistance to farmers and ranchers. This funding and technical assistance is for implementing emergency conservation measures and emergency water needs. Farmers and Ranchers are encouraged to contact their local USDA Service Center to seek information and help.
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