California farmers brace for drought, unemployment

This 1943 photo is from the Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley,
This 1943 photo is from the Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley,

Drought could lead to soaring unemployment in Central Valley farming communities.

February 11, 2014
(from The Huffington Post)

Amid California’s driest year on record, the nation’s leading agricultural region is locked in drought and bracing for unemployment to soar, sending farm workers to food lines in a place famous for its abundance.


One-third of the Central Valley’s jobs are related to farming. Strains on water supplies are expected to force farmers to leave fields unplanted, creating a ripple effect on food processing plant workers, truck drivers and those who sell fertilizer, irrigation equipment and tractors. The ripple effect of drought extends to the trucking companies that haul crops, tire companies that outfit the big rigs and fuel suppliers who provide diesel.

2012 study by the Agricultural Issues Center at the University of California, Davis, found that farming and food processing industries created nearly 38 percent of all Central Valley jobs. Every 100 farm and processing jobs create work for another 92 people, said the report, which measured agriculture’s impact on the state’s economy.

(Read the full story about the impact of the drought on the Central Valley, by Scott Smith, Feb. 2, 2014, The Huffington Post

College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, UC Davis, contact: