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Drought forces California farmers to idle cropland

 Large-scale crop losses in California, the No. 1 U.S. farm state producing half the nation's fruits and vegetables, would undoubtedly lead to higher consumer prices, especially for tree and vine produce grown only there. But experts say it is too soon to quantify the effect.

Coming off its driest year on record, California is gripped in a drought that threatens to inflict the worst water crisis in state history, prompting Governor Jerry Brown last month to declare a state of emergency.

He urged citizens to reduce their water consumption by 20 percent voluntarily.

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