El Nino could cause crop loss in California

California, already suffering huge crop
losses late last year from extensive flooding, may experience large crop
losses if El Nino causes rain storms to continue through March.

In an Associated Press report,
farmers and officials said that continued storms through March would make
it very difficult for bees to pollinate blooming trees and plants. The
result could be another year of huge crop losses for California, which
lost $746 million in 1995 to storms.

“If this keeps up and keeps growers
from planting vegetable crops or corn for dairies, it could have a ripple
effect through the entire agriculture economy,” said Modesto nurseryman
Bob Driver.

The most immediate threat is to California’s
$1 billion almond crop, but lettuce growers are also concerned continued
heavy rain will disrupt planting schedules.

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