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California farmers drought: California farmers fear drought, unemployment

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California farmers are bracing for a drought in 2014 after the driest year ever to be recorded. On Feb. 3, Yahoo! News reported that farmers are preparing for unemployment due to the drought. Small farm towns are expected to be hit the hardest -- with water supplies down, producing has become very hard and crops will undoubtedly be slashed.

"One-third of the Central Valley's jobs are related to farming. Strains on water supplies are expected to force farmers to leave fields unplanted (sic), creating a ripple effect on food processing plant workers, truck drivers and those who sell fertilizer, irrigation equipment and tractors," reports Yahoo! News.

California farmers know this drought is going to affect their crops and with news that the government will only allot a fraction of the federally controlled water (via Yahoo! News), it's bad news for many who make a living this way.

In particular, Fresno County could see an unemployment rate of 50% which would be the highest ever. The farmers aren't the only ones who have to be worried about this either. The industry trickles down to other people to -- those who transport food, trucking companies, supply companies, and fuel suppliers. While the drought is bad news for farmers, it's also very bad news for the economy.

"When you make a hay bale, you've got to tie that bale with string. The supplier who made that string, he's going to be out of work, too," said Steve Malanca, general manager at Thomason Tractor in Firebaugh.

California farmers know the drought is serious and that 2014 is going to be a very tough year in the industry. Sadly, not much can be done to rectify the situation.

© Effie Orfanides 2014

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