Friday, January 20, 2012

Wet weather a welcome sight

Finally some rain has fallen in the Sacramento Valley. This time of the year it’s only good news for rice farmers to see rain in the valley and snow in the higher elevations. 

During this unseasonably dry stretch, many growers and myself were able to get a lot of outdoor work done, including laser leveling of some fields – which helps ensure we are most efficient with water. With the sunny days, we’ve also had opportunity for equipment repair and maintenance. 

From the look of my area, migrating birds have really enjoyed the winter. I can’t recall seeing larger congregations of ducks and geese. At the nearby Delevan National Wildlife Refuge, there have been hundreds of thousands of birds as well. 

Now that we have finally had some rainfall, we have battened down the hatches of our grain bins to make sure that the rough rice harvested last fall remains pristine. 

I hope the rain keeps falling, so it can fill up our reservoirs. Once we get to late March, however, it would be nice to shift back to drier conditions. That’s when we make final preparations for planting our next rice crop. 

Punch Haskell grows rice in Colusa County and is part of a family farming operation that began approximately 60 years ago.

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