California drought could impact bird habitats, rice prices

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Rice is one of California?s top crops, but the historic drought is forcing farmers to make tough decisions in the field ? and that likely will have a ripple effect on consumers and migratory birds.


Wildlife also will pay the price. By winter, millions of migratory birds will make their way into the area, a time when the fields are flooded in order to decompose the rice straws.

?We?re going to run out of food for these ducks somewhere in mid-December,? said Mark Bittlecomb with Ducks Unlimited , a waterfowl and wetlands conservation group.

The birds get 60 percent of their food from winter-flooded fields, biologists said. This year, their habitat is down 20 percent in the Sacramento Valley.

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Read more and watch video: KCRA Sacramento, August 27, 2014

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