Drought-stressed farmerLoading
  • Al Medvitz worries about the salinity and of the Sacramento river on Thursday February 27, 2014 in Montezuma Hills, Calif. "When they regulate this summer and the reservoir isn't full, snow pack is down and the flow in the river low with too much salt from the ocean water we will not be able to irrigate and that threatens our major investment and could bankrupt us," said Medvitz.
    Renée C. Byer | rbyer@sacbee.com
  • Al Medvitz says he farms in the region where water is taken to transport south and is concerned about the impact of the drought on his animals and crops on Thursday February 27, 2014 in Montezuma Hills, Calif. "I'm selling off sheep sequentially based on health, productivity and age because the cost of hay has gone up and I can't afford to feed the sheep," said Medvitz.
    Renée C. Byer | rbyer@sacbee.com
  • Al Medvitz says he has 1200 ewes, 1800 babies and 25 bucks on his 3700 acre farm on Thursday February 27, 2014 in Montezuma Hills, Calif., as he inspected the pasture and his sheep. He says the hay that was in storage for later is almost gone and he won't be able to replenish it with alfalfa because the river will be to saline to irrigate. "We had to take the hay out early to feed the babies," he said.
    Renée C. Byer | rbyer@sacbee.com
  • Al Medvitz says he has 1200 ewes, 1800 babies and 25 bucks on his 3700 acre farm on Thursday February 27, 2014 in Montezuma Hills, Calif., as he inspected the pasture and his sheep. He says the hay that was in storage for later is almost gone and he won't be able to replenish it with alfalfa because the river will be to saline to irrigate. "We had to take the hay out early to feed the babies," he said.
    Renée C. Byer | rbyer@sacbee.com
  • Al Medvitz makes his way up a hill after inspecting a pump he has in the Sacramento river on Thursday February 27, 2014 in Montezuma Hills, Calif., near his alfalfa field. Because the salinity is so high he is having difficulty irrigating his crop.
    Renée C. Byer | rbyer@sacbee.com
  • Al Medvitz said he has had to sell off his sheep at auction because the cost of hay has gone up and he can't afford to feed them on Thursday February 27, 2014 in Montezuma Hills, Calif. "We don't want starving animals," said Medvitz.
    Renée C. Byer | rbyer@sacbee.com
  • Al Medvitz says normally this shed is full of hay for his sheep on Thursday February 27, 2014 in Montezuma Hills, Calif. "We had to take hay out early at the wrong time to be able to feed our babies that are nursing," said Medvitz.
    Renée C. Byer | rbyer@sacbee.com
  • AL Medvitz who has been forced to sell off some of his sheep at auction because of the drought says he will be will be applying for relief on Thursday February 27, 2014 in Montezuma Hills, Calif. "In order to avoid this disaster I'm applying for relief for stock water in the wells," said Medvitz.
    Renée C. Byer | rbyer@sacbee.com
  • Al Medvitz checks the salinity in the Sacramento River on Thursday February 27, 2014 on his 3700 acre farm in Montezuma Hills, Calif. "Right now I can't irrigate," said Medvitz standing near a pump across from his grape orchard. The nearest water supply he has is in a well two miles from the grape orchard and will cost $150,000 dollars to build a pipeline and small reservoir system and still there would not be enough water for his alfalfa fields.
    Renée C. Byer | rbyer@sacbee.com
  • Al Medvitz says the his grape vines are dry and starting to bud three weeks early on Thursday February 27, 2014 in Montezuma Hills, Calif., causing a threat to the crop. His nearest well is two miles away and because the river is low the salinity from the ocean is too much to irrigate from his pump in the Sacramento river.
    Renée C. Byer | rbyer@sacbee.com
  • After inspecting his 3700 acre farm Al Medvitz goes back in his house to apply for emergency relief for stock water in his wells on Thursday February 27, 2014 in Montezuma Hills, Calif. A bumper sticker on his truck reads "Save the Delta! Stop the Canal."
    Renée C. Byer | rbyer@sacbee.com
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