"The driest year on record is turning the golden hills of California to dust, drying up wells, pastures and cash reserves in a season that is traditionally lush and generous."
"'It's about the worst I've ever seen,' said Gilroy's Jim Warren, 72, as a hungry herd of Angus cattle jostled toward his truck, piled high with $6,000 worth of imported alfalfa hay. 'But you can't starve a cow into profit.'
In Clayton, Jerry Richeson's well went dry, so he buys water by the gallon for his home and horses. Sebastopol sheep rancher Rex Williams has sold off one-third of his flock rather than borrow money to support them. In the vast artichoke fields of Castroville's SeaMist Farms, irrigation has started even before planting, so tiny seedlings won't perish."