Bay Area Agriculture Industry Hoping for Rain

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Bay Area cattle ranchers are having a tough time keeping their cows fed. For the third straight year, dry conditions have meant not enough grass for the animals to graze on. Jodi Hernandez reports. (Published Wednesday, Dec 18, 2013)

    Bay Area cattle ranchers are having a tough time keeping their cows fed.

    For the third straight year, dry conditions have meant not enough grass for the animals to graze on.

    "They should be eating green grass right now and what we have is just the bare tinge of green in the hill," said Rancher John Ginochio." It needs to rain right now to shove it up."

    Ginochio has been forced to buy hay to keep his hungry herd satisfied, a costly alternative he's not sure he can sustain.

    "If we don't get more rain all of agriculture in the Bay area is in deep trouble," he said. "We need the rain seriously."

    But dry conditions don't just spell trouble for farmers and ranchers.

    San Francisco and Los Angeles are the driest they've been in 100 years, according to Bill Croyle, a state drought manager.

    State water experts said the conditions are so grim, everyone could soon feel the impact. The state in response has formed for the first time a Drought Management Team to gear up for a possible drought emergency.

    "If it continues in the same manner in January and February, we're going to be very worried," Croyle said.

    Experts said water rationing could be around the corner and the time to start conserving is now. Meanwhile, ranchers like Ginochio are praying for rain as their livelihoods are on the line.