Ag Today January 28, 2020

Atmospheric rivers that hit California getting a boost from melting Arctic ice [San Francisco Chronicle]

The fast-melting ice in the Arctic may be the primary cause of extreme weather across the globe, including some of the most violent, damaging storms to hit the Bay Area and California, a Scripps Institution of Oceanography study has found….The study provides evidence that the melting ice sets in motion a chain of events, including major disruptions in wind and weather patterns at the equator and in the central Pacific Ocean. That, in turn, can trigger El Niño weather events and the violent “atmospheric rivers” that bring deluges of rain, sometimes causing havoc in the Bay Area.


Opinion: California’s water department must face the reality of climate change and diverse needs [Sacramento Bee]

…DWR could play a lead role in helping the state become more resilient in the face of climate change by ensuring that the State Water Project is managed to reduce diversions from the Bay-Delta ecosystem and to promote water use efficiency, water reuse, and other measures that help water districts wean themselves off of unrealistic and unsustainable levels of water use….DWR must not undermine protections for the state’s endangered species, but must work with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and the scientific community to operate the State Water Project to protect those species. That means significantly increasing flows at key times of the year.


Regulators Probe Potential Dean Foods Merger [Wall Street Journal]

Federal antitrust regulators are probing a possible deal between a major U.S. dairy cooperative and Dean Foods Co., the bankrupt milk-processing giant, as the dairy industry realigns after decades of declining milk consumption. Officials and people in the industry said the Justice Department is discussing with farmers and retailers the potential impact of such a deal on milk prices and competition in the dairy business, as Dean explores asset sales after filing for bankruptcy. Dean, the top U.S. milk processor by sales, sought chapter 11 protection in November after struggling for years with slumping demand. That month, the Texas-based company and Dairy Farmers of America, the largest U.S. dairy cooperative by membership, said they were in deal discussions, which have continued.


City of Corcoran sues well-known dairy company for $65 million [CFSN TV]

The city of Corcoran and Curtimade Dairy have been neighbors for more than 100 years. But about four years ago, their relationship turned contentious. The city said it planned to sue the dairy for contaminating its drinking water wells with nitrates,…The city filed its first lawsuit against Curtimade Dairy in December of 2018….The lawsuit is on Tuesday night’s council agenda under the closed session section….Many people are expected to go to the meeting and voice their opposition to the lawsuit during the public comment period.$65-million-/5883769/


Commentary: Cow burps aren’t the problem. Bad herd management is [Visalia Times-Delta]

It’s understood that cattle are a problem. A big part of global warming. Cows belch. They overgraze. Grasslands die. Desertification spreads. Temperatures rise worldwide. estruction of civilization inevitably follows. What’s much less understood is that exactly the opposite is true. Cows — and nearly all livestock for that matter — can play a crucial role in resurrecting waning grasslands, regenerating degraded landscapes, sequestering Co2 back into the soil, and yes, helping end climate change. They could even help save the planet.


‘Wine is like the canary in the coal mine.’ Climate change is threatening our wine supply [USA Today]

…Many of the world’s prime wine-growing regions could shrink dramatically due to human-caused climate change, a study released Monday suggests….In fact, if the global temperature rises by 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100, the regions of the world that are suitable for growing wine grapes could shrink by as much as 56% , according to the study….Wine-growing regions that are already warm now – such as Italy, Spain and Australia – will see the largest losses as the planet heats up. But the scientists say that cooler wine-growing regions in countries like Germany, New Zealand and the U.S. Pacific Northwest could be relatively unscathed.