Ag Today August 14, 2020

Why you shouldn’t be worried about getting the coronavirus from food [CNN]

Health experts say there’s no evidence the coronavirus can be transmitted through food. You might have seen reports this week that Chinese authorities said a surface sample from a batch of frozen chicken wings imported from Brazil tested positive for coronavirus. But don’t panic. … Here’s the bottom line: Doctors and health experts have repeatedly said the coronavirus is not likely to be transmitted by food. … “People should not fear food or food packaging or the processing or delivery of food,” Dr. Michael Ryan, the executive director of the World Health Organization’s Health Emergencies Programme, said Thursday.


Climate change report forecasts hard times for Kern ag [Bakersfield Californian]

A new report warns Kern County agriculture will face tough challenges in the decades ahead as climate change makes irrigation water scarcer and weather conditions more variable and intense. The study concludes these hurdles “ultimately challenge the ability to maximize production while ensuring profitability.” … The Kern County Farm Bureau on Thursday issued a comment on the new report. It specifically mentioned only the report’s implications for water availability.


U.S. West faces reckoning over water but avoids cuts for now [Associated Press]

The white rings that wrap around two massive lakes in the U.S. West are a stark reminder of how water levels are dropping and a warning that the 40 million people who rely on the Colorado River face a much drier future. … The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is expected to release projections Friday that suggest Lake Powell and Lake Mead will dip slightly in 2021. That determines how much water flows to cities and farms in seven states. … Elsewhere, officials are scrambling to find alternative water sources to sustain growing cities and farms.


Does Upper Klamath Lake’s elevation affect suckers? The jury’s still out [Klamath Falls Herald and News]

It’s the big question in the Upper Klamath Basin: To what extent does the water level of Upper Klamath Lake affect the health of sucker populations? After nearly three decades of data collection and modeling, scientists still aren’t quite sure. … Lake levels are just one piece of a complex puzzle of environmental factors that all interact to impact water quality. How big of a piece they are is still up in the air. … If the last two reports were any indication, lake level is part of a suite of factors playing into Upper Klamath Lake’s water quality.


Two years after Carr Fire, LaMalfa introduces ’emergency’ bill in Congress to prevent wildfires [Redding Record Searchlight]

Members of Congress from California and the West have joined together to introduce a bill to reduce wildfire risk and increase forest management. The bill, the “Bipartisan Emergency Wildfire and Public Safety Act,” promises to “protect the West from catastrophic wildfires” through prevention projects. It also includes retrofitting measures to help businesses and homeowners to protect homes and other buildings from the risk of future wildfires. … Whatever route legislators lay out for clearing out overgrown forests, they will need to remove barriers to make it happen.


Opinion: Yes, organic food is purer. But is it eco-friendly too? [MarketWatch]

When you buy organic food, you’re also helping protect the planet from environmental harm, right? Let’s peel the onion and find out. Growers of organic food do not use synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. They must follow the federal government’s strict rules to get certified. … For eco-conscious consumers wandering (or rushing) through the supermarket trying to decide if an organic item leaves a smaller carbon footprint, the answer isn’t simple.