Ag Today August 7, 2019

Three new wolf pups born in Northern California [San Jose Mercury News]

…At least three new wolf pups were born in mid-April to the Lassen Pack, a group of gray wolves that has been roaming Lassen and Plumas counties in the rural northeast corner of the state, according to officials from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife….Environmentalists called the latest news about the pups a positive step forward….The animals, which have been linked to five attacks on calves this year in Lassen, Siskiyou and Plumas counties, are a source of consternation for some rural ranchers and farmers….“The Farm Bureau is committed to continuing to work with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife to figure out ways to reduce the burdens of raising livestock in areas with wolves—but we do not expect it to be easy,” said Noelle Cremers, a policy advocate with the California Farm Bureau Federation. “We hope the Department of Fish and Wildlife can work with ranchers to help them protect their animals as the pack expands.”


As U.S.-China trade war flares, American farmers fret [CBS News]

American farmers, already struggling from the impact of severe weather and lower commodity prices, face another blow after China this week cut off all new purchases of U.S. agricultural exports amid an escalating trade war with the U.S….The trade war is taking a toll. U.S. agricultural exports to China dropped to $9.1 billion in 2018, down from $19.5 billion the previous year, according to the American Farm Bureau. That figure has continued to drop, with exports to China in the first half of 2019 sinking to $1.3 billion.


News Analysis: In ramping up trade war with China, Trump could be playing with fire [Los Angeles Times]

Shortly before igniting a new round in his trade war with China, President Trump last week accused Beijing of trying to stall talks until after the 2020 election in hopes of negotiating a better deal with a Democrat in the White House. But Trump has strong incentives to drag out the fight: Behind a relatively strong U.S. economy and at least the chance of more credit stimulus from the Federal Reserve, he may benefit politically from continuing the confrontation with Beijing because it’s red meat for his political base. The potential loser in this international game of chicken is the U.S. economy….In the short term, continuing conflict is likely to mean more pain for American farmers, who count China as their best customer.


U.S. collected $63 billion in tariffs through June [Wall Street Journal]

The tariff hikes approved by President Trump have infuriated Beijing and escalated the U.S.-China trade war, but there has been at least one beneficiary: the U.S. Treasury. As of June 30, the U.S. government has collected $63 billion in tariffs over the preceding 12 months, according to the latest Treasury data….There is one caveat, however. For every dollar brought in by the new tariffs, a dollar has been authorized to fund rescue programs for farmers who have been harmed by retaliation from China and other countries.


Squeezing out more use [Manteca Bulletin]

Congressman Josh Harder doesn’t have to look far to see an example of what could happen if his efforts to bring competing factions in California’s endless water wars together to tweak notions that are often a century old to put 21st technology to work to squeeze more uses out  of the state’s finite water supplies. A mile to the west of Ripon as well as four miles south of Manteca is where you will find part of the long-range answer to the Northern San Joaquin Valley’s quest to make sure it’s prosperity and agriculture production that is critical in helping feed the United States is not compromised by efforts to crank up unimpaired water flows for fish by state fiat on the Stanislaus, Tuolumne and Merced rivers.


Opinion: Jane Wagner-Tyack: Groundwater draft plan reaches milestone [Lodi News-Sentinel]

An important but not widely-publicized local planning process reached a milestone with the July release of the draft Groundwater Sustainability Plan for the Eastern San Joaquin Subbasin….In the Eastern San Joaquin Subbasin, 15 agencies have declared themselves to be Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) for purposes of managing groundwater, and it is taking time for them to create a framework for cooperation. To achieve a common sustainability goal, they have formed the Eastern San Joaquin Groundwater Authority….It is going to take time for the Groundwater Authority to accumulate the information needed to fairly and sustainably manage this invisible public resource while also protecting water quality and the health of surface rivers and streams and the ecosystems that rely on them.