Informational meeting on drought resources planned in Fresno

The Fresno BeeFebruary 18, 2014 

A farm crew installs drip irrigation line in a orchard of young trees near Mendota on Jan. 27, 2014.

JOHN WALKER — THE FRESNO BEE Buy Photo

State and federal agriculture officials will host a meeting Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014, in Fresno to explain what drought-related resources are available to farmers, ranchers and workers.

Fresno's meeting is one of five informational sessions being held throughout the state by the California Department of Food and Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Water conservation, crop insurance and other farm management tools are topics. Farmworker assistance also will be available.

California farmers and ranchers have been struggling through three consecutive dry years. The lack of snow and rain has forced farmers to take drastic measures, including idling thousands of acres of produce. Ranchers are paying high prices for feed to keep their livestock alive. Some farmers have pulled out hundreds of acres of tree nuts to help reduce the demand for water.

Among the agencies attending Thursday's meeting will be the USDA's Risk Management Agency, Farm Service Agency and Natural Resources Conservation Service. The programs offer a variety of on-farm assistance including cover crops and tree pruning as well as market-based risk management tools.

Several of the agencies also have filing deadlines for upcoming programs.

"This will be a one-stop shop for people who want drought assistance information," said Ryan Jacobsen, executive director of the Fresno County Farm Bureau.

If you go

What:

Informational Session on drought resources

Where: Fresno County Farm Bureau, 1274 W. Hedges Ave., Fresno

When: Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014, 6 to 8 p.m.

The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6327, brodriguez@fresnobee.com or @FresnoBeeBob on Twitter.

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