With the East Fork of the Carson River running dry in the first week of August, and a federal drought emergency declared in Douglas County, this has been a hard year for agriculture.
A few Carson Valley farmers may get a small third cutting of hay, but for most that season is over. The National Weather Service reports Minden received just over a third of its average precipitation at the end of July. The water year officially ends on Oct. 1, but the intervening months of August and September are not known for their prodigious rainfall.
The only good thing this year was the winter before last that charged reservoirs and the Valley's aquifers giving us a headstart of sorts.
Experts say that next winter's precipitation will make a big difference in how long farmers will have to irrigate next summer.
Why is that important for your average resident?
Drought means more than green fields for shorter periods of time next summer.
Those farmers who have supplemental water rights will be pumping their wells to try and make up for the lack of irrigation water. Some will be looking to sell portions of their land to stay afloat. Others may sell out entirely.
One thing's for sure - a prolonged drought could result in a domino effect for the Valley's agriculture, turning Carson Valley from green to brown.