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Storms benefit local farmers

The January storms created more benefit than damage for San Diego County’s agricultural industries.

“The damage we had was pretty minimal,” said San Diego County Farm Bureau Executive Director Eric Larson. “It definitely, all in all, was a benefit.”

The rainfall increased the water supply to interrupt a drought, at least temporarily, while erosion, uprooting, and wind damage were limited.

Most of the damage was wind-related and involved fruit falling off trees. Larson noted that very little agricultural loss from erosion was reported. “Haven’t really heard much about that at all,” he said.

The wetter soil was not loose enough to uproot trees or other crops. “I have not heard anything wholesale about trees going down or any problems like that,” Larson said.

The county’s farmers welcomed the weather. “It’s not just the rain, but it’s the benefit of the storm,” Larson said. “We got so much snow up in the Sierras that we finally reached normal to date.”

The State Water Project transports water from Northern California to Central and Southern California as well as to some Northern California locations. While environmental concerns have impacted the transport of water, its availability is positive for farmers.

“We’d much rather have some water to move and try to move it than have no water to move,” Larson said.

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