Ag Today April 26, 2019

Trump’s withdrawal from TPP trade deal is hurting U.S. exports to Japan [Los Angeles Times]

One of Donald Trump’s first acts as president was to pull the United States out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the 12-nation free-trade deal that President Obama negotiated but left unfinished….Now the White House is scrambling to undo the damage of Trump’s swift withdrawal from what would have been the world’s largest regional trade agreement. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrives Friday in Washington to meet with Trump….Japan is now starting to import substantially more from its free-trade partners, at America’s expense. That’s bad for U.S. farmers who were already reeling from tit-for-tat tariffs on soybeans and other farm goods entering China.


It hasn’t happened in 65 years. This threatened species has returned to the San Joaquin River [Fresno Bee]

Before the construction of Friant Dam and creation of Millerton Lake in 1942, the San Joaquin River was a historic spawning habitat for spring-run Chinook salmon. But it’s been more than 65 years since adult salmon returned from the Pacific Ocean to the river – until this month, that is. So far in April, five adult Chinook salmon have been discovered in the same area of the San Joaquin River for the first time in decades. Josh Newcom, a spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s San Joaquin River Restoration Program, said the salmon were all caught in net traps in an area of the river’s lower Eastside Bypass.


Some horse advocates buck at new plan to save wild mustangs [Associated Press]

Animal welfare groups have reached a milestone agreement with ranching interests they say would save wild mustangs from slaughter but the compromise has opened a nasty split among horse protection advocates. The Humane Society of the United States and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals say their proposal backed by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the American Farm Bureau Federation would eliminate the threat of slaughter for thousands of free-roaming horses primarily by spending millions of dollars on expanding fertility controls on the range….The unprecedented alliance unveiled this week has ignited fierce opposition from the American Wild Horse Campaign and Friends of Animals, which currently is leading a legal challenge to Forest Service efforts that could for the first time make mustangs recently rounded up along the California-Nevada border available for purchase for slaughter.


Food poisoning remains persistent problem, US report finds [Associated Press]

As recent illnesses tied to raw turkey , ground beef , cut melon and romaine lettuce suggest, U.S. food poisoning cases don’t appear to be going away anytime soon. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a report Thursday that the frequency of several types of food poisoning infections climbed last year, but that the increases could be the result of new diagnostic tools that help identify more cases. Overall, the agency believes food poisoning rates have remained largely unchanged.


Opinion: Working together to better prepare California for the threat of wildfires [Riverside Press-Enterprise]

…Dealing with this challenge demands an all-of-the-above approach, even if some solutions aren’t universally popular. It’s also going to require more cooperation between federal, state and local governments and the private sector. This doesn’t mean clearcutting our forests. Or that we should abandon landmark environmental laws like the Endangered Species Act. But it does mean we need to move more aggressively to rid our forests of dead trees and thick undergrowth before they fuel the next deadly wildfire.


Opinion: A legal conflict brings a sour note to the sweet history of California strawberries [Los Angeles Times]

And now, years after California growers thought conflicts over the fruit finally had been put to rest, yet another lawsuit threatens their hard-won peace. Late last month, the leading brand in supermarket strawberries, Driscoll’s, filed a federal lawsuit alleging that its proprietary berry varieties had been stolen by a company founded by the most celebrated breeder in the business and used in its own breeding program. The lawsuit’s target is Douglas V. Shaw and his firm, California Berry Cultivars (CBC)….Strawberry growers are crossing their fingers that the Driscoll’s lawsuit will end with a settlement, like the last.