Yolo Bypass Symposium, Part 3: Farms, flood, fish, and fowl: Putting the puzzle together
Stakeholders discuss how to integrating the multiple plans and processes in the Yolo Bypass
Land use in the Yolo Bypass is dominated by agriculture; it is part of Yolo County’s heritage as well as a vital of its economy. Farming activities in the bypass generally begin in late spring and extend through the summer, when flooding is uncommon. Primary crops grown in the bypass include rice, wild rice, corn, tomatoes, and safflower, with pasture lands in the south.
However, agriculture in the bypass is more than just an economic driver; it is actually integral to sustaining the multiple functions. The fields provides an important food source for waterfowl: rice is grown, harvested, and flooded to provide food for waterfowl while also aiding in the decomposition of rice stubble; cornfields are harvested to provide forage for geese and cranes, and safflower fields are prepped to provide seed for upland species. And just as importantly, agricultural practices help maintain the flood capacity of the bypass by controlling vegetation and thereby reducing the state’s responsibility for vegetation removal.
Floods, farms, fish and fowl – there’s a lot going on in the bypass, and agriculture is a crucial part. In this third and final portion of coverage from the Yolo Bypass Symposium: Meeting Nature Halfway on a Floodplain, Dr. Robyn Suddeth from UC Davis presents her research into the trade-offs for agriculture with increased flooding in the bypass, Bill Fleenor from UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences discusses hydraulic modeling needs in the bypass, and consultant Petrea Marchand gives her views on how the multiple plans and processes can be successfully integrated. Lastly, stakeholders give their views in a panel discussion.