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Record Drought Expected To Leave Thousands Jobless, Cost $1.7 Billion In Agriculture

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Giant wooden murals of farmworkers are seen at 'The Farm' February 9, 2005 in Salinas, California. Artist, John Cerney, created his giant life-like murals of farmworkers based on actual people who have worked in the Salinas Valley agriculture community. (credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Giant wooden murals of farmworkers are seen at ‘The Farm’ February 9, 2005 in Salinas, California. Artist, John Cerney, created his giant life-like murals of farmworkers based on actual people who have worked in the Salinas Valley agriculture community. (credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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textalerts180 Record Drought Expected To Leave Thousands Jobless, Cost $1.7 Billion In Agriculture

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Researchers say California’s drought could cost the state’s agricultural economy $1.7 billion this year and leave more than 14,000 farmworkers without work.

The findings are contained in a preliminary study by the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences that was released on Monday. The study was done at the request of the California Department of Food and Agriculture and used computer models and recent water delivery figures to arrive at its conclusions.

It estimates 6 percent of farmland in the Central Valley could go unplanted because of cuts in water deliveries.

UC Davis’ Jay Lund, co-author of the study, said the resulting economic damage shouldn’t threaten California’s overall economy. Agriculture makes up less than 3 percent of California’s $1.9 trillion gross domestic product annually.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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