Ag Today February 9, 2021

World Ag Expo makes online debut Tuesday. Farm show ‘greatly missed’ by local business, nonprofits [Visalia Times Delta]

This year’s World Ag Expo will look unlike any other in the event’s 54-year history, as California’s premiere agribusiness show prepares to launch online Tuesday. … Local ag leaders said the online show provides an “exciting new avenue” for growth, though “growers are disappointed that the show is not in person,” according to Tricia Stever-Blattler, Tulare County Farm Bureau executive director. … No physical farm show also means many local schools and non-profits will lose out on the year’s biggest fundraiser.


Meatpackers want workers to get Covid-19 vaccines, but some aren’t so sure [Wall Street Journal]

Meatpacking workers are among the next wave of people eligible for Covid-19 vaccinations in some states. Their bosses want to make sure they get the shots. … Many meatpacking-plant employees remain unsure of the vaccines’ safety and effectiveness, according to company surveys, worker groups and some workers themselves. Some worry about having to provide proof of immigration status to get a shot, worker advocates said, while others who don’t speak or read English might struggle to find out where to get one.


Bioenergy interest heats up in Kern County [Bakersfield Californian]

Kern County business developers have seen a surge of interest lately from companies looking to build waste-to-energy projects that could create hundreds if not thousands of new local jobs in producing fuels that cut greenhouse-gas emissions. …  Bioenergy has attracted substantial local investment in recent years as state lawmakers offer subsidies and favorable policies to promote big spending on infrastructure necessary to convert food waste, ag trimmings, dairy manure and even dead forest trees into cleaner-burning fuel whose environmental benefits can add up to be carbon negative.


Bee theft is almost a perfect crime—but there’s a new sheriff in town [Popular Science]

The bee thieves come at night, swooping in and bugging out quicker than the wings of the insects they steal. And they always leave tracks. … A 15-year veteran officer as well as vice president of the state’s rural crime prevention task force, Freeman polices the county as a deputy sheriff. But over the past decade, he’s come to be the main liaison between law enforcement and the victims of hive heists. … From January to March, Freeman drives the roads along Central Valley’s almond orchards, keeping a watchful eye and fielding tips.


Despite below-average snowpack, 2021 water year still a wild card [Klamath Falls Herald and News]

The Klamath Basin’s snowpack forecast isn’t looking so hot this month, but it’s still too early to tell whether water year 2021’s luck will change. … “Water managers in the basin should prepare for significantly reduced water supplies in the coming summer if conditions do not improve,” the report read. While the news isn’t encouraging, it’s not grounds for panic—yet. There’s still time for the snowpack to catch up, and predictions about the summer’s water availability this early in the water year are shaky.


Vegetables and the coronavirus: People take up gardening amid pandemic [The Appeal Democrat, Marysville]

People have been looking for ways to get outside and find things to do while spending more time at home amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and one of the things people have turned to is gardening. “People have been really aware of their surroundings. Since we’re at home, you want to make it the best you can,” said Norma McMath, a Sutter-Yuba University of California Cooperative Extension master gardener. Jessica Oakes, manager at Sperbeck’s Nursery in Yuba City, said they have seen many people take up gardening in the last year.


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