Ag Today February 25, 2019

Trump to delay tariff increases on Chinese imports [Wall Street Journal]

President Trump said Sunday he would delay an increase in tariffs on Chinese goods set to take effect at the end of this week, citing “substantial progress” on issues including intellectual property and technology transfer after a weekend of talks. In a tweet, Mr. Trump wrote that should progress continue, the U.S. would plan a summit with President Xi Jinping of China to “conclude an agreement” that would settle a yearlong trade fight between the two nations….In recent talks, Beijing offered to increase purchases of U.S. farm and energy products and services, ease restrictions on U.S. firms in financial services and auto manufacturing and improve protection of U.S. intellectual-property rights, according to people briefed on the discussions.


High-stakes trial over Roundup cancer claim to begin [Associated Press]

A jury in federal court in San Francisco will decide whether Roundup weed killer caused a California man’s cancer in a trial starting Monday that plaintiffs’ attorneys say could help determine the fate of hundreds of similar lawsuits. Edwin Hardeman, 70, is the second plaintiff to go to trial of thousands around the country who claim agribusiness giant Monsanto’s weed killer causes cancer….Hardeman’s trial is before a different judge and may be more significant….The outcome of bellwether cases can help attorneys decide whether to continue fighting similar suits in court or settle them.


House backs preservation of Point Reyes ranches in funding bill [Marin Independent Journal]

As part of the latest government spending bill, the House of Representatives included a statement supporting the preservation of historic dairy ranches in the Point Reyes National Seashore….The House statement comes in the midst of a long-standing debate on whether public lands should be used for the benefit of private interests….The House statement is one in a series of supportive gestures by the federal government for the historic ranches within the 90,000 acres in the national seashore and neighboring Golden Gate National Recreation Area.


Poop-to-power part of Aliso Canyon settlement raises stink [Associated Press]

A stink is being raised over a $120 million court settlement from the nation’s largest-known natural gas leak and it’s not about money, but cow manure. Environmental groups have criticized a plan to put more than a fifth of the settlement toward capturing climate-changing methane from dairy farms in the state’s farm belt — more than 100 miles from where the blowout occurred on the edge of Los Angeles….The state said dairies, which contribute 20 percent of the state’s methane, were the optimal place to mitigate the methane and would provide a win-win controlling methane emissions on farms and providing energy used to fuel trucks that will eliminate pollution otherwise created by diesel big-rigs.


All over Sierra, ‘there are towns just like Paradise’: Foresters want more tree thinning [Redding Record Searchlight]

Now that the death and destruction from California’s wildfires in 2018 has captured the attention of state policy makers and forest managers, one group wants to do something about it. The California Society of American Foresters is meeting in Folsom this weekend to talk about forest management, climate change and what can be done to turn the tide against ever deadlier and larger wildland fires….Thinning the forest around communities where fires did much of their damage could have helped slow some wildfires, he said. One of the proposals introduced to the foresters’ executive committee Friday included holding an annual Sierra Nevada forest summit. Tad Mason of Sacramento, who presented the proposal for the annual forest summit, said it would be an opportunity for the major players in statewide forest management to set goals and then hold people accountable if they aren’t met.


Editorial: What’s Gavin Newsom’s plan for sustainable water in California? We still have little idea [Los Angeles Times]

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s references to water in his first State of the State address were brief and a bit patchy, but they were enough to make fiercely competing factions each believe the new governor had their backs….Newsom has never been a water policy wonk, so the most pleasant surprise is that he appears interested in California’s water challenges. For the present, though, his exact path forward remains a bit liquid.