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An extended period of drought on the Central Coast was met with rain early this week

Posted at 11:59 AM, Dec 15, 2021

An extended period of drought on the Central Coast was met with rain early this week, but it doesn't mean a significant change in the drought status.

"We're not out of this thing yet. So, actually just today the County Board of Supervisors extended our local drought designation," said Brent Burchett, San Luis Obispo County Farm Bureau Executive Director.

Burchett says the rain this time of year does help green up pastures.

"So think of where cattle are grazing for the most part. They are mostly reliant on grass that grows out in their pasture. So [cattle owners] are not wanting to bring in hay to feed—that's pretty expensive," said Burchett.

While all crops will benefit from the recent rainfall - it is especially important for the cattle industry.

Burchett says the rain we got over the last couple of days has been helpful for crops that have already been planted, but it's going to take a lot more rain to put a significant dent in this drought.

"The rain was great, we're happy we got it, but we still got a long way to go before that groundwater is replenished that we're using throughout the year," Burchett said.

And for residents who've gone through drought before, they're not surprised to hear we need more.

"It's a little bit of rain but it started and stopped and...waiting for more," said Matt Gaughan, an Atascadero Resident.

"I think it's got to keep going. I'm not surprised, but I am surprised because people are surprised," said Kris Cunningham, a San Luis Obispo Resident.

But the recent rainfall has given them a more positive outlook.

"Seeing the rain coming definitely is nice to know that there is some water coming and hopefully we'll get more later this week and hopeffully the rest of the season," said Gaughan.

"Well it's pretty cleansing.I feel, I feel like just after a nice shower. It feels pretty good," said Cunningham.

Burchett warns the next few months are crucial for the drought outlook.

"All these crops need kind of a seasonal rain and this is our time for rain, so if we don't get in the next couple months we won't get it for the entire year," said Burchett.

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