Klamath Falls farmer struggling to stay afloat after water decision

Klamath Falls farmer struggling to stay afloat after water decision

You'd think with a canal full of water, farmer Rodney Cheyne's sprinkler systems would be on.

"Devastating is kind of an understatement. My family has been here since 1909 and everything we've worked for our whole entire life is in jeopardy," said the fifth generation farmer.

Earlier this week, a federal judge denied farmers, like Cheyne's, request to overturn a ruling to save water to protect salmon.

"Now we have no idea when we are going to turn on, if we are going to turn on and if we do turn on and irrigate, how long will we be able to irrigate," said Cheyne.

Thursday afternoon he's out plowing the dirt in spite of it.

"Water means food," said Cheyne. "Everybody needs food and there is less agriculture ground in the world daily with the growing population of people."

Cheyne grows crops and angus cattle.

"I have a wife and four kids, this is how I put food on the table for, them in the seat of that tractor, growing crops and if I'm not able to do that, it is not different than getting laid off from a job, or fired, or getting your paycheck taken away from you," said Cheyne

But relief could be in sight.

Earlier Thursday, Representative Greg Walden announced a 10 million dollar emergency fund for the Klamath Basin.

"I'm glad to see some relief, it's going to help a lot of people in need but it's going to be a little too late," said Cheyne.

He says there needs to be a solution to this problem so it won't happen again.

"There is plenty of water to go around," Cheyne said. "We need to look into science that's involved in this. There is no farmer out here that wants to see fish of any kind to be extinct. Unfortunately, now the species of farmers are going extinct."

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