The U.S. Drought Monitor shows over 20% of California suffers from the worst classification of drought. That is down considerably from two years ago However, it is not enough to save the 62 million trees which have died in the state in 2016 or the 102 million which have died since 2010. The trees are not an entirely appropriate proxy for the agriculture industry in the state, but are note a completely inaccurate one
According to the U.S. Forest Service,
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that the U.S. Forest Service has identified an additional 36 million dead trees across California since its last aerial survey in May 2016. This brings the total number of dead trees since 2010 to over 102 million on 7.7 million acres of California’s drought stricken forests. In 2016 alone, 62 million trees have died, representing more than a 100 percent increase in dead trees across the state from 2015. Millions of additional trees are weakened and expected to die in the coming months and year
The Drought Monitor shows 21% of California suffers from “exceptional drought”, the highest level. When the next level of “extreme drought” is added, the number goes to over 42%
The severe effect of this does indeed extend to agriculture. The UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences recently reported:
Net water shortages will cost about $247 million dollars in forgone gross crop revenues plus $303 million in additional pumping costs for a total of $550 million in direct costs and 1,815 jobs lost in agriculture due to drought. Region-wide effects which include sectors supporting agriculture face gross revenue losses and households lost income of an estimated $603 million and 4,700 jobs statewide.
No scientific support things will get better