Faced with tight water supplies, some growers on the San Joaquin Valley's Westside have decided to forgo a fall lettuce crop and save the water for permanent crops, such as almonds.

That's caused grower-shippers to forecast tight supplies of iceberg lettuce from the Huron, Calif., area this fall.

“We’re hearing there will be product grown in the Huron area,” says Bruce Knobeloch, vice president of marketing for River Ranch Fresh Foods LLC, Salinas, Calif., which uses contract growers in Huron. “But we understand when they turn the water off the growers have to prioritize.”

If Huron-area growers put lettuce as a low priority, the focus may switch to the California desert.

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