Ag Today August 26, 2019

Trump says U.S. and Japan have reached trade deal in principle [Wall Street Journal]

President Trump said Sunday the U.S. and Japan had reached a trade deal “in principle” that would pave the way for more U.S. farm exports to Japan, while dropping the threat of increased U.S. tariffs on Japanese cars….Mr. Trump said he expected the leaders to sign the deal next month, around the time of the United Nations General Assembly….Mr. Trump pulled the U.S. out of the unratified 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership, which included Japan, on his first working day in office in 2017. A revised TPP took effect last year without the U.S., and now U.S. farmers are complaining as member countries—including Australia, Canada and New Zealand—as well as the European Union get greater access to Japan’s long-protected markets for beef, pork and dairy products.


Latest round in trade war set to hit U.S. vehicles, agriculture [Wall Street Journal]

The U.S. and China raised tariffs on one another Friday, exchanging salvos in the growing trade war between the world’s two largest economies. After the close of U.S. markets, President Trump said he would raise the rate of existing and planned tariffs on Chinese imports by 5 percentage points….Items China plans to impose or raise tariffs on include agricultural products, automobiles, apparel, chemicals and textiles….Some items on China’s tariff list, such as soybeans, beef and pork, were on previous lists of goods that already had tariffs imposed.


West wrestles with Colorado River “grand bargain” as changing climate depletes water governed by 1922 compact [Denver Post]

Rocky Mountain water managers worried about climate-driven depletion across the Colorado River Basin are mulling a “grand bargain” that would overhaul obligations among seven southwestern states for sharing the river’s water. This reflects rising concerns that dry times could turn disastrous….The grand bargain concept arose from increasing anxiety in booming Colorado and the other upper-basin states — New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming — about their plight of being legally roped into sending more water downriver, even if dry winters, new population growth and development made that impossible without shutting faucets….The grand bargain would remove the legal right to “call,” or demand, more water during dry times that was established by the 1922 Colorado River Compact.


In Santa Cruz, a clandestine food bank draws hundreds of farmworkers [Bay Area News Group]

…Here, hidden in plain sight in one of California’s poorest counties, a clandestine operation delivers supplies to people who can’t afford the food they harvest for others and are so worried about immigration enforcement that they are afraid to visit official food banks — sometimes even grocery stores….Organizers say threats of immigration raids like the recent roundup at a string of poultry producers in Mississippi, the largest workplace sting in a decade, coupled with policy changes such as the Trump administration’s new “public charge” rule that could deny green cards to immigrants who use food stamps and other public assistance, have only intensified the fear. Lopez’s work-around, a monthly food bank run in partnership with the Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Cruz County, has been operating for the past year.


Prune growers face challenges [Marysville Appeal-Democrat]

Declining prune prices combined with fewer acres of fruit being grown and international competition have created a challenge for growers and producers for years but for some, diversifying their operations has helped. Money Dhami, 40, a Sutter County grower, said about four years ago he was able to get about $840 per green ton of prunes versus the fraction of that price that he’s getting now. “I was offered about 200 per ton recently,” he said. “That won’t event cover cost plus there’s enough supply in the warehouse for two years.”


‘Anything to speed up the process’: Local forest experts like Forest Service’s plan to expedite tree removal [Chico Enterprise-Record]

Local and professional foresters say they support a new proposal by the U.S. Forest Service that would speed up logging and cut some environmental review processes. The Forest Service is proposing a sweeping amendment of The National Environmental Policy Act. The amendment would quicken the process for tree removal, in part by cutting out public participation in most logging operations as well as prescribed burning processes, road and pipeline building and other projects….The speed of tree removal processes and selling salvage timber (wood which has been removed from forests partially damaged by wildfire) are a major concern for Butte County, as dead trees continue to wait for logging after the Camp Fire.