By Elizabeth Zach, staff writer Farmers Market

California’s farmers markets—some of the most enviable in the nation—are increasingly bare, illustrating the state’s ongoing drought despite recent rains. Many farmers are resting their land and taking time off.

Farmers say the drought is just one problem compounding another—bugs.

“They just cleaned us out,” Barbara Whyman of Tutti Frutti Farms in Lompoc told the Los Angeles Times. Warm temperatures and little rain create conditions in which pests multiply, among them the bagrada that attacks broccoli, kale and Brussels sprouts.

Another farmer, Jerry Rutiz of Arroyo Grande, told the Times that instead of fighting the pests, he turned 15 of his 28 acres into cover crops.

Water shortages continue to be a problem for farmers. One farm in the California Delta, Frog Hollow Farm in Brentwood, faced steep increases in its water bill, forcing reduced sales at the local farmer’s market. Restaurants that buy from California producers have also noted limited availability.

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