SLO County farmers and wineries brace for incoming rainfall after last winter's heavy flooding
San Luis Obispo County farms and wineries are getting ready for rainfall next week. The National Weather Service predicts that rain will move into the area as early as Tuesday night.
Earlier this year, heavy rain caused billions of dollars in damages to California agriculture.
Shane Lovell, who runs City Farm SLO, a nonprofit farm, lost some of his peach, nectarine and plum trees in the storms– they couldn’t tolerate the water so Lovell spent the dry season making some changes.
“Hopefully if it's really wet again, we'll be ready this year,” Lovell said.
Lovell switched out those trees for ones that thrive in wet conditions, like apples and pears.
Meanwhile, Brian Talley, the CEO of Tally Vineyards and Farms, said his grapes held up well against the rain, and they are working to protect them again.
“As we speak, we have folks from our vineyard team that are putting out straw waddles and other erosion control measures because there is a fairly significant storm that is predicted for next week,” Talley said.
Local farm officials said at the end of the day, farmers will keep adapting to California's ever-changing climate.
Brent Burchett is the executive director of the SLO County Farm Bureau, a nonprofit that supports local farmworkers.
“Our farmers and ranchers have been through this game several times,” Burchett said. “They know it's this cycle of a big flood followed by drought, and we're prepared for it.”
The National Weather Service forecasts areas on the Central Coast could see a total of 1 to 3 inches of rain by the time the storm moves out of the region late next week.