26 January 2014
Salinas Valley farmers wise, efficient at water use
Published 26 January 2014
We all know it takes water to grow food, and in some crops, a lot of water. Demand for high-quality fresh food products is increasing rapidly, as the health benefits of wise eating habits are continuously refined and publicized. In order to meet that demand for fresh, local food products, farmers here are maintaining their water resources in a sustainable fashion; over the course of the past two decades, yields and crop quality have increased dramatically but water use has not increased.
Efficiency has been aided by technology and research into crop management. Over 60 percent of our fields are now on drip irrigation, feeding water only to the root zone of each plant individually for maximum efficiency. Ongoing research into when a crop is most receptive to irrigation will continue to reform the irrigation practices of local farmers in the coming years.