Torrential rains and record flooding continue to hit southern California. The state’s agriculture sector is facing growing challenges with steep uncertainties. The flooding, caused by atmospheric rivers, is the result of concentrated moisture-laden air currents that not only disrupt farming operations but pose massive risks to crop yields, soil health and water quality.

California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency for several California counties to support more rapid storm response and recovery efforts. Newsom says the flooding is now considered to be life-threatening. But the long-term response perhaps leaves the most room for uncertainty as the already stressed southern California irrigation and water management system copes with overwhelming amounts of water. While rainfall is important to refill dry reservoirs and groundwater, flooding causes infrastructure problems, channel erosion and water and soil quality concerns.

Read more on California flooding and its impact on the state’s agriculture sector here.