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