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Drought Worries Delta Asparagus Farmers

Courtesy of the California Asparagus Commission

Courtesy of the California Asparagus Commission

Marc Marchini heads the California Asparagus Commission. He's also a farmer who grows asparagus on Union Island in the South Delta.

"It's very important to have water on right now," said Marchini. "As a matter of fact, I am irrigating right now just to replenish the ground water that we normally would be getting if it was raining."

Another consequence of the drought for farmers is the worsening quality of irrigation water as river flows drop.

On Insight with Beth Ruyak, Marchini explained that without high river flows, salt water from the San Francisco Bay comes up Delta waterways and into farmland. 

"It creates a salt condition that is very damaging to our crops," said Marchini. "In fact, the more water you put on the worse it gets sometimes."

Marchini is also on the board of the Stockton Asparagus Festival which will be held in late April. He says despite their growing difficulties, organizers will have no problem supplying this year's event with enough asparagus.





Steve Milne

Morning Edition Anchor & Reporter

Steve is the Morning Edition anchor for Capital Public Radio. He covers stories on a wide range of topics including: business, education, real estate, agriculture and music.  Read Full Bio 

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