By the time the centennial of the California State University at Fresno was over, the world was in the throes of another major crop crisis. 

The California drought had hit its peak, and the state had been hit hard by the Dust Bowl and the severe flooding that followed it. 

It was a perfect storm of environmental and economic calamity that could have easily pushed California into a second Great Depression.

Instead, the state escaped with an unusually mild winter and a record crop that year. 

As a result, in an extraordinary feat of resilience, California was able to rebuild from the disaster in less than a decade, in a way that few other states were able to do. 

What it did, though, was make the state a more desirable place to live, according to UCF historian and agricultural economist John B. Miller. 

“There was a great sense of renewal,” Miller said. 

In fact, he said, the only way that the drought could have lasted a full year longer was if California had had more than just one year to rebuild. 

And when you consider that, Miller says, California had a very different climate than most of the rest of the country, which is not only warmer, but also drier, wetter and more arid. 

California has always had a lot of drought and even more drought-prone conditions, and it was always going to have that climate. 

That made it possible for California to be so successful in getting out of the crisis.

But that didn’t happen, Miller said, and in fact, the situation was far worse than many expected. 

After a drought year, California’s crop production dropped off a cliff, according to Miller, and by the time spring came along, the drought was back. 

He said that during the next few years, California would have to work very hard to recover from that year’s disaster. 

One of the biggest challenges for farmers in California is that, because they’ve always had to adjust to drought conditions, they tend to take a bit longer to adjust than most other states. 

Miller said it took a while for the drought to really hit, and for that reason, farmers were reluctant to plant their crops in the winter, when they’re usually the most productive. 

But as a result of the climate change and other factors, he says, that’s no longer the case. 

Instead, farmers have to wait until spring, when the crop is planted, to begin planting. 

According to Miller, that means farmers are taking longer to start planting in the fall, which in turn makes it more difficult to harvest crops in winter. 

For the farmers, that can mean that they’re planting crops that are more susceptible to soil compaction and more prone to being sown in wet conditions, which makes it harder to produce the crops that they need to support the farm. 

Even though the drought is finally ending, Miller believes that farmers will still be struggling to grow the crops they need, and he believes that, as a consequence, the demand for their produce will continue to rise. 

At this point, there’s still no indication that California’s economy will recover in the years to come, but if the state can get the drought under control, Miller hopes that it can have a good rebound in the future. 

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