Ag Today February 18, 2020

Trump’s visit to Bakersfield remains a mystery after White House confirms travel plans [Bakersfield Californian]

Days after the White House confirmed President Donald Trump would be traveling to Bakersfield next week, details remained scarce about his visit….Farm Bureau President John Moore said the president could address a “laundry list” of issues facing Central Valley farmers, and added the bureau was in a holding pattern until informed of plans from federal officials. A White House statement released to the media said Trump’s Bakersfield visit would focus on efforts to dramatically improve the supply and delivery of water in California and other Western states.


Editorial: It’s time for Gov. Newsom to take a firm stand to protect the delta [San Francisco Chronicle]

It’s time for Gov. Gavin Newsom to own up on water policy. He can either play nice with a roughshod plan from President Trump to divert crucial water flows or craft his own blueprint that balances both wildlife and California’s economy….He’s going out of his way to placate major water users at the outset while keeping seething enviros at arms length. Californians deserve to know more definitively where the governor stands. He has the power and interest to solve a daunting problem and protect the delta from the unrelenting pressure to deplete it.


California adopts first air pollution measures targeting local emissions in Central Valley [Fresno Bee]

…The California Air Resources Board met there following a tour in Shafter and another earlier in the day in south Fresno. After several hours, and at times battling over details and ideas, the board approved plans for both communities that outline ways to reduce emissions, including working with local industries….The air board approved plans for Shafter that include reducing pesticide exposure and use….The measures for Shafter include expanding pesticide air monitoring and developing a pesticide application notification system.


EPA OKs continued use of tuberculosis drugs to fight citrus disease in California, Florida [Palm Springs Desert Sun]

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency quietly issued another emergency approval for farmers in California and Florida to continue applying a medically important antibiotic to citrus crops. Because the drug is used to treat tuberculosis in humans, the move has raised concerns that it could exacerbate widespread antibiotic resistance….The EPA says that widespread application of the drug streptomycin, as well as a similar antibiotic it has approved called oxytetracycline, is necessary to fight citrus greening disease, which has decimated much of Florida’s orange and grapefruit yield and appeared in Southern California in 2008.


California wine prices may drop to lowest in 20 years [KCRA-TV, Sacramento]

The price of wine is at an all-time low because of an abundance of grapes, according to a new report from the Silicon Valley Bank Financial Group. The State of U.S. Wine Industry 2020 report said wine prices could reach the lowest in 20 years….The San Joaquin County Farm Bureau said it’s not good news for everyone, especially growers….The farm bureau said some growers are choosing to leave grapes on the vine because it would cost more to produce.


Wine vs. weed in Napa Valley [Politico]

Napa Valley is famous for its cabernet sauvignon. But with the cannabis industry moving in fast, some of the region’s storied vintners are sounding the alarm that California’s newest legal crop could damage the flavor — and brand — of their prized wines….”You have to protect the Napa name,” said Ryan Klobas, CEO of the Napa County Farm Bureau, which has taken a strong position against cannabis cultivation….Napa County has explicitly banned commercial cannabis growing in its unincorporated rural areas, where most vineyards lie.