Ag Today December 2, 2019

Trump to tariff steel and aluminum from Argentina and Brazil [Associated Press]

President Donald Trump on Monday accused Argentina and Brazil of hurting American farmers through currency manipulation and said he’ll slap tariffs on their steel and aluminum imports to retaliate….Both South American nations were among a group of U.S. allies that Trump had exempted from steel and aluminum tariffs in March 2018….Both South American countries have benefited from the U.S. trade war with China. Argentina and Brazil have taken advantage of Chinese import taxes on U.S. farm products to export more agricultural goods to China.


SLO Co. Farm Bureau hosting meeting on new law related to migrant workers [KSBY TV, San Luis Obispo]

A proposed law to reform the H2A agricultural guest worker program is up for discussion Monday at a farm bureau meeting in San Luis Obispo. U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-CA) plans to attend Monday’s public forum….The Farm Workforce Modernization Act offers migrant workers stability and a pathway to citizenship, something the current visa system does not support….”These workers are the front lines, not only of picking these crops, but driving and operating our machinery, the manufacturing,” SLO County Farm Bureau Exec. Dir. Brent Burchett said.


Water in the bank: Coalition of agencies develops ‘historic’ sustainable groundwater plan [Stockton Record]

There’s progress to report in the momentous task of ensuring that San Joaquin County and surrounding communities have enough water to meet anticipated needs for the next 20 years. Earlier this month, the Eastern San Joaquin Groundwater Authority — or ESJGWA, comprised of 16 area agencies including cities, counties and water districts — recommended that each of its member agencies adopt a mutually agreed upon Groundwater Sustainability Plan by Jan. 8….Its final plan will define projects to bring the basin into balance, including using increased surface water supplies, groundwater recharge, intra-basin water transfers, conservation, water recycling and stormwater reuse.


How racism ripples through rural California’s pipes [New York Times]

…Today, the legacy of segregation in the Central Valley reverberates underground, through old pipes, dry wells and soil tainted by shoddy septic systems. Lack of access to clean drinking water remains a problem across California today and low-income communities are disproportionately affected….Many labor settlements and rural communities that formed as nonwhite enclaves are today just miles away from more reliable water systems, and yet they remain without access.


Opinion: It’s time to secure California’s water supply by raising Shasta Dam [Fresno Bee]

…Projects like raising Shasta Dam would allow California to add capacity to an existing reservoir — like adding an addition to your house, rather than clearing land for a new home….Misinformation and rhetoric surrounding these critical infrastructure projects have facilitated a false narrative that only a handful of agricultural interests will benefit at the expense of our environment. This couldn’t be more untrue. Unfortunately, coverage has not focused on the substantial scientific and operational benefits additional storage would provide to ecosystems and fisheries.


Opinion: Newsom picks fish over farms, but still gets brickbats [Orange County Register]

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration has given environmentalists much of what they presumably want as it released a 610-page draft Delta environmental report recently that calls for $1.5 billion in habitat restoration among other environmental projects….He’s leaning on the side of fish in the state’s never-ending fish v. people debate, but is at least trying to deal with farm and urban water needs. The last thing the administration wants is a crisis of water availability in the midst of the ongoing electricity crisis. But as much as they cheered the lawsuit announcement, environmentalists were aghast at the report because the state plan will allow some additional water for farms. There’s no pleasing them.