Some Farmers Say Late June Rains Are For The Birds


 
While birds are keeping an eye out for worms, some California Central Valley farmers are keeping an eye on the weather. They’re worried unseasonable rains might spoil their crops.

Dave Kranz with the California Farm Bureau Federation says the rain might help the water table a little, but it is hardly welcome by farmers in the middle of a growing season:

“Folks who have pasture ground will appreciate having a little bit of moisture on the dry grass for the livestock, but for the most part, rain in late June is more of a concern than a help for farmers.”

Brad Goehring owns Goehring Vineyards in Lodi.  He says grape leaves provide protection from a very light rain, but if water gets into the bunches, he’ll have to to take action.

“We’ll be back in there sulfur dusting and spraying fungicides to prevent mildew and help curb rot.”

He says as little as five-hundredths of an inch could cause growers to take action.

Kranz with the California Farm Bureau Federation says the real damage can occur after the rains have stopped:

“If the weather stays kind of cool and breezy for a couple of days after the rain, that’ll allow the crops to dry off a little bit without encouraging that mold or mildew to build up.”

Goehring, who Goehring Vineyards in Lodi, says, it could be worse: 

“The later in season we get and closer to harvest, the more damaging rain can be.  So, I guess if we had to pick and choose a blast of rain right now versus later, I think we’d all take it right now.”

The National Weather Service says rain is forecast through Tuesday night with temperatures rising into the upper 80’s and lower 90’s on Wednesday.  




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