As Drought Drags On, Sonoran Agricultural Sector Prays For Rain

Published: Sunday, May 2, 2021 - 11:39pm
Updated: Monday, May 3, 2021 - 1:54pm

After a terrible rainy season last year, neighboring Sonora’s massive agricultural sector is banking on better monsoons this summer.

In 2019, roughly 25 inches of rain fell in Sonora, a pretty good year compared to others over the last decade, according to data from the National Water Commission (CONAGUA). But in 2020, a year of historically pervasive drought, just 13 inches fell. That has brought major trouble for farmers and ranchers.

Rodolfo Jordan Villalobos, state head of the National Campesino Federation (CNC), which represents small farmers, ranchers and farmworkers, said that if the fall planting cycle were to start with the current volume in the state’s reservoirs, production would have to be cut by over 340,000 acres.

A top federal water official recently predicted a massive cut in acreage in the critical Mayo River Valley if this summer disappoints again.

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