Drought worries grow for farmers

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ESCONDIDO, Calif. – Growers setting up their stands Monday at a farmers’ market in Escondido expressed their concern over the impact from the drought.

“I hopScreen Shot 2014-02-17 at 5.33.16 PMe God gives me rain…soon,” said Abel Ramos with RNL Farms in Ramona.

It’s hard to be optimistic — even with the recent rain — it wasn’t nearly enough.  Growers warn the hot, dry conditions are taking a toll that will eventually be passed down to the customer.

“We’re using city water – so it’s just like if it was summer.  We’re spending a lot of money on water,” said Norma Murillo with Behneman Farms in Valley Center.  “We’ll eventually have to raise our prices to keep up.”

President Obama visited California’s Central Valley last week offering more than $160 million in financial aid.  Some farmers wonder if it will make much of a difference.

“It’s just a Band-Aid. We need a long-term solution,” said Tasha Ardalan, a manager with Welk Certified Farmers’ Market.  “It’s only going to get us through one season.  What’s going to happen at the next drought?  What’s going to happen next spring and summer?”

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