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.”
New regulations that include fines up to $500 a day for residents who waste water are taking effect in California.
Continued drought brings drawdown of groundwater in California, other western states.
High school football concussions, tax relief on home loan modifications, and homeowners association watering requirements – all subjects of bills signed Monday by California Gov. Jerry Brown.
California has approved tough new water restrictions, but how they’ll be enforced depends on where you live.
Many people living in small Central Valley communities in California are watching their wells run dry. US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced more federal aid to help those hurt by the drought.