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Farmers hope to see more rain in the coming weeks

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Posted at 6:14 PM, Jan 22, 2021

A Central Coast farmer is hopeful the rain over the coming days will help his crops after a dry start to the season.

At Shanley Farms in Morro Bay, the owner says he worries that if the area continues to see a lack of rainfall during the upcoming months, they could potentially see a big loss in revenue.

"This sort of bad pattern that we've been having, it can be very substantial. I mean, it could be half or more of the normal revenue could be lost to that sort of event,” Jim Shanley said.

The farm has 40 acres of finger limes, oranges, avocados, and much more in Morro Bay that are in dire need of rain.

"Rain replenishes the aquifer that we are drawing from with our wells so without any replenishment, we are starting to get really concerned about what we are going to do in the coming year,” Shanley said.

Brent Burchett, San Luis Obispo County Farm Bureau Director, also worries.

"If we don't get this rain this time of year, it's looking for a long season so when it comes to April, May we are getting ready to harvest these crops they will have to irrigate more than usual which is a bigger cost and obviously strains our local aquifers and groundwater resources,” Burchett said.

Shanley says he hopes to see more rain in the forecast in the coming months.

“If we were to get upwards of 20 inches total that would be outstanding given the start we've had. I doubt we will get there given how far we are behind but here's hoping,” Shanley said.

Most of the crops are reliant on groundwater but Shanley says it would be great to finally get some rainfall which ultimately does lower the cost of having to irrigate on a day-to-day basis.