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Farmers could be a force in California recall election

State officials had to make exhausting, but necessary, decisions about water use, he said. “They didn’t have the options. We know it’s going to hurt. We are always optimistic about agriculture, but we have a lot of things against us right now, and without water we cannot cultivate.

Bryce Lundberg, who represents the agricultural sector on the State Food and Agriculture Council, said that although Gov. Newsom has had to prioritize responding to the pandemic, progress has always been made on water issues.

Mr Lundberg, owner of Lundberg Family Farms, which grows rice, said Mr Newsom has prioritized plans for an environmentally friendly off-river reservoir in the Sacramento Valley called the Sites Reservoir. The reservoir would capture excess water from major storms and keep it for drier periods.

“There are a lot of farmers under intense stress, and a lot of farmers doing business this year because they don’t have water,” said Lundberg, who supports Newsom during the talks. elections. “It’s human nature to look for flaws, but they’re not looking in the right place if they want to blame Governor Newsom.”

Some minority farmers feel particularly disappointed with the state, saying their small acreage denies them the influence of large farms that can pressure the state to make decisions, said Chanowk Yisrael, owner of the farm. Yisrael urban wagon in Sacramento. Many farmers of color also lease their farmland to other farmers who may reduce the tenants’ water supply rather than limiting theirs.

Mr Yisrael said he has not decided how he will vote, but understands Mr Newsom is grappling with a host of complex issues: climate change, raging wildfires and challenges of the pandemic. Yet, he added, “a lot of things to talk about are kind of swept under the rug.”

For Lorna Roush, who runs Schultz Ranch in Fresno County with her father, brothers and children, worry that water will be scarce when she finally takes over the farm has added to her worries about Mr. Newsom. Her family tried to make plans for a potentially large reduction in the water supply; they are already minimizing their use, she said, and have made adjustments to their farming practices.

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