LATER: Turns out that Net Cropped Acreage is the wrong metric. That’s how many acres are planted; not the number harvested. In 2009, only 360,000 acres were harvested in Westlands.
I got curious about fallowed acreage, since people keep saying different things. Sen. Feinstein, for example, said “over 400,000 acres of farmland have been fallowed.” So far as I know, that is mostly on the west side (hearing no anecdotes to the contrary). Westlands WD generously keeps their crop reports online (Westlands, then News & Information, then Reports, the Crop Acreage Reports). So I graphed them. Hmmm.
1. I’m not seeing the problem here. (Perhaps the problems are rising costs of water, using salty groundwater, subsidence. The problem is not acres-out-of-commission.)
2. Their reported fallowed acreage for 2009 was 156,239 acres. Where are the other hundreds of thousands of fallowed acres?
3. I was paying attention in 2001. I don’t remember hysterical pronouncements about Government Created Dust Bowl!!!