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Normal Crop Rotation in the Imperial Valley

June 27, 2002

In "Farmers Oppose Call to Idle Land," your excellent June 17 article about the resistance to fallowing in the Imperial Valley, Adan Ortega, who is identified as an executive of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, compares this controversial practice to normal "crop rotation." The difference, of course, is that normal crop rotation is done in the interest of conserving and sustaining the land, while fallowing is intended to destroy it. Normal crop rotation gives the land a rest; fallowing gives it back to the desert. Normal crop rotation protects local jobs; fallowing exports them elsewhere.

To suggest otherwise is cynical and shortsighted. Imperial Valley farmers are among the most efficient and productive anywhere in the world, and their use of water to grow food and fiber isn't just good for this valley and California, it's good for the country.

Stella Mendoza

President

Imperial Irrigation District Board of Directors

Imperial, Calif.

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