Normally rains help drive salt and other toxic minerals deeper into the soil and away from roots of plants.
When that doesn’t happen, farmers can irrigate a little more. But that may not be an option during this drought.
Greg Norris is a state conservation engineer with the Natural Resources Conservation Service. He says even if farmers have enough water to irrigate, the crop might not produce enough to be viable.
Norris says barley is one crop that’s very salt tolerant. But it’s not just salt that can be a problem.
“They could look at a different crop that’s more salt tolerant or if they can’t do that they could plant a cover crop that is salt tolerant," says Norris. "They may or may not need to irrigate it but it would at least provide some cover to prevent soil erosion either from wind or water.”
Governor Brown's mandatory restrictions for residential and commercial water users drew mixed reactions in Fresno.
The governor’s executive order includes stricter reporting requirements for agricultural water users – but no mandatory restrictions, unlike urban areas. To farmers, that’s enough.
California’s cities are subject to 25 percent water reductions under Governor Jerry Brown’s executive order; but those water restrictions don't apply to the biggest users of water.
UPDATED: For the first time ever, a governor of California is imposing mandatory water restrictions. Gov. Jerry Brown issued an executive order Wednesday that mandates a 25 percent cut in urban water use from now through next February.
(AP) - Drought-stricken California will conduct its final manual snowpack survey in the Sierra Nevada - and the outlook isn't good.