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Agriculture

Despite receiving significant amounts of rain last week, local farms appear to have weathered the storm

Talley Farms
Crops grow at Talley Farms in the Arroyo Grande Valley. (Dave Alley/KEYT)
Talley Vineyards
Talley Vineyards outside Arroyo Grande. (Dave Alley/KEYT)

ARROYO GRANDE, Calif. -- Last week's storm dumped several inches of rain on all parts of the Central Coast.

Despite the significant amount of precipitation, local farmers are saying they have been able to weather the storm.

"Fortunately, we had very little damage," said Talley Farms Director of Operations/Owner Ryan Talley. "Having it come over a two to three day period was really nice. We were able to capture a lot of it and let it soak into our water table."

Talley said the Arroyo Grande Valley farm received more than six inches of rain last week. It's an amount not seen in such a short period of time in several years.

"From this rain event, I haven't seen any negative impacts," said Talley. "The soil was so dry to begin with anyway, the ground really soaked up the majority of the rainfall."

He added the family-owned farm was able to minimize any potential damages by preparing ahead of time after receiving the weather forecast many days in advance.

"The fact that we were able to get advance notice about the amount of rain that was coming, really enabled us to cut ditches and bar ditches and really prepare for the storm," said Talley. "We're able now to capture a lot of the rain because we know in advance we're able to go out into our fields and deep rip and cut ditches around the field so that we're able to basically capture all the rainfall with minimal runoff."

At nearby Talley Vineyards, preparations also played a key in helping reduce any weather-related issues.

"In our vineyards, our cover crops were very well established, so they were really holding the soil in place," said Talley Farms President/CEO, Owner Brian Talley. "That's critical. We had installed a lot of erosion control, straw waddles that typically in areas where there can be erosion. I'm very pleased with results."

Brian Talley added recent colder winter temperatures have also been a benefit to the grape crop.

"The cold weather is also very beneficial to promote more dormancy, which is going to delay our bud break," said Brian Talley. "When the vines start growing again, typically in mid-to-late February, the first of March, the more that's delayed, the better it is for us."

Like Talley Farms, Ryan Talley said other nearby operations also seem to have handled the big storm without major incident.

"The farmers in the Arroyo Grande Valley, with us getting between six to seven inches, there wasn't a whole lot of damage reported," said Ryan Talley. "Everybody was able to go out and do what they needed to do to mitigate against the water damage."

He did note that some operations could be delayed, such as planting. Wet and muddy soil conditions may postpone planting by as many as two weeks.

Still, the storm has brought many smiles to the businesses, especially since more rain could fall as soon as Tuesday.

"We were very happy to see the rain come in," said Ryan Talley. "It was quite a relief. We were starting to get concerned not having any rain during the month of January to speak, and so the rain was welcome."

California / Outdoors / San Luis Obispo County / Santa Maria - Lompoc - North County / Weather News
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Dave Alley

Dave Alley is a reporter and anchor at NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Dave, click here.

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