Floods Hurting Local Farmers

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, April 10, 2006

If you drive along the Yolo Causeway between Davis and Sacramento, you’ll see a lot of water. State Department of Water Resources spokesman Don Strickland says that’s not good for local farmers who use the Yolo Bypass to grow rice. 

"Right now they’re not growing anything and they can’t prepare any ground because the whole bypass area is under water."

One of those rice farmers is Jack DeWitt. During a normal year, this is when he’d start preparing the land for planting. But he expects it’ll be a while before he can do it this year. 

"By the time the surface water drains away we still have to wait for the ground to dry up so our tractor work cannot begin there until at least a month from now, the middle of May."

Although it might be too late to plant regular rice, all is not lost. 

"The wild rice is a shorter season crop than the regular rice so we anticipate growing at least some wild rice out there."

DeWitt says he expects to suffer a 30% loss to his operation because of flooding.