Local water crisis not a major concern for Fallon farmer

by ERIN MEYERING

Rick Lattin stands in the Lattin Family Farms sunflower forest. / Photo by Erin Meyering

Rick Lattin stands in the Lattin Family Farms sunflower forest. / Photo by Erin Meyering

Things not generally associated with Nevada agriculture: a land of plenty and a land of endless amounts of water. However, things seem to have gotten worse.

The Associated Press recently reported that the Truckee-Carson Irrigation District says a water order cut-off looms over Fallon-area farmers as Lahontan Reservoir’s level continues to drop.

Fallon-area farmers provide the majority of local produce in the area. With over 100 years of farming history, Lattin Family Farms in Fallon, Nev. has had its fair share of water shortage concerns.

Although the district threatened to no longer take water orders, Rick Lattin, a 69-year-old and self-proclaimed “old guy” in the farming community, has routinely planned for times like these.

Lattin uses a drip system for many of his row crops. The drip system uses less water while conserving further because the water can be reused for other crops.

The only thing that will be majorly affected by the water shortage persisting is Lattin’s wheat, barley, and fall-seeded alfalfa. Although those may seem like significant crops, Lattin Farms grows plenty of other produce including pumpkin, tomato, and melon.

If the water shortage does get worse, Lattin explained that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) takes care of farmers in case of disaster by offering risk insurance and plenty of relief.

Overall, Lattin Family Farms’ participation in the growing local food movement helps propel Lattin to do all the preparing and estimating to keep his crops producing.



Categories: LOCAL FOOD MOVEMENT