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Drought in California: What are the consequences for the rest of the US?

The entire state of California is now in a drought emergency. That was already true in much of the state, and it’s been having a big impact on farmers and ranchers — some of whom have been facing water cuts this summer.

Daniel Munch, an economist at the American Farm Bureau Federation: “It’s our largest agricultural producing state in the country. Fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, California produces over 90% of our production by value.” This means that “[a] drought has a major impact on the ability for the rest of our states and the rest of our consumers across the country to have access to those products.”

So far, Munch said, American consumers haven’t really been feeling the effects of the drought in California. The longer the drought goes on, the more likely that is to change, according to agricultural climate scientist at the University of California, Merced, Tapan Pathak, who stated: “We could potentially see reduction in the availability of the fruits and vegetables that’s consumed by people every day. At the same time, we could potentially see higher food prices.”


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