Ag Today January 14, 2019

Shutdown hurts farmers, but many stick with Trump [Bloomberg News]

Farmers are used to playing the long game. Bad weather comes and goes, prices rise and fall, but they are a patient lot. So it is with their support for Donald Trump. That’s the signal from farmers these days during the partial government shutdown that’s keeping some growers from filing for payments to help them overcome crop tariffs resulting from Trump’s trade war with China. On Monday, when Trump speaks to the American Farm Bureau in New Orleans, he is likely to face an audience willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, at least for now.


Why this California farmer loves tariffs [Bay Area News Group]

California farmers hate Trump’s tariffs. Except maybe one. Ever since President Donald Trump fired the first major shot in his international trade war, imposing a 10 percent tariff on Chinese garlic and other imports, Gilroy’s Christopher Ranch – America’s largest producer of fresh garlic — has experienced a surge in sales….The new 15 percent tariff raises the price of Chinese garlic, narrowing the price gap. But many of California’s other crops, in contrast, are exported.


Developers, not farmers, get biggest hit from wetlands rule [Associated Press]

President Donald Trump often points to farmers as among the biggest winners from the administration’s proposed rollback of federal protections for wetlands and waterways across the country. But under longstanding federal law and rules, farmers and farmland already are exempt from most of the regulatory hurdles on behalf of wetlands that the Trump administration is targeting….Real estate developers and those in other business sectors take out substantially more permits than farmers for projects impinging on wetlands, creeks, and streams, and who stand to reap the biggest regulatory and financial relief from the Trump administration’s rollback of wetlands protections.


Trump’s executive order will cut more forest trees — and some of the public’s tools to stop it [Washington Post]

With a partial government shutdown looming, President Trump quietly issued an executive order that expands logging on public land on the grounds that it will curb deadly wildfires. The declaration, issued the Friday before Christmas, reflects Trump’s interest in forest management since a spate of wildfires ravaged California last year. While many scientists and Western governors have urged federal officials to adopt a suite of policies to tackle the problem, including cuts in greenhouse gases linked to climate change, the president has focused on expanding timber sales.


Editorial: Gavin Newsom needs a plan for California’s endangered water supply [Los Angeles Times]

…A climate-oriented water agenda accomplishes more than moral leadership. It keeps our thirst quenched, our crops growing and the priceless web of life intact….That means a different approach from the last century’s great engineering projects….It also means stepping up the timeline of the landmark groundwater laws that finally require that subsurface water be measured, managed and equitably shared.