Drought Management Workshop Audio Now Available


The majority of California is in extreme drought. Even with the winter rain, it will take years of wet winters in order to recover.  The drought situation has implications for food production throughout the state and for consumers nationwide. It is estimated that the average person in the US consumes around 300 gallons of California water each week by eating food grown in California (Buchanan et al., 2016). 

Next time you eat a California grown avocado or glass of milk, think about how much water went into producing it.

The topic of drought and how farmers can manage water to ensure the survival of their operations is of critical importance. OFRF surveyed organic farmers in the summer of 2015 to see how drought is affecting them. The survey found that research on drought management is a top priority for organic farmers in California. Many growers listed the impact of the drought as their biggest production challenge. One producer stated they no longer grow grain because of the California drought.

To examine how organic farmers can take measures to increase resilience in drought conditions, OFRF hosted a panel at the 2016 EcoFarm conference titled “Innovations for Drought Management.” The discussion panel, which was translated into Spanish, was moderated by Joanna Ory, Research Program Associate at OFRF and included Steve Gliessman (agroecologist and organic farmer), Nikiko Masumoto (organic farmer and artist), and Michael Cahn (Extension Specialist). The discussion focused on how dry farming, consumer education, varietal choice, and soil preparation can enhance the success of organic farming during times of drought.

This panel discussion and others from the conference are now available to order from EcoFarm.

By Joanna Ory
Research Program Associate