Ag Today July 1, 2019

Trump official joins Democrats to hear California farmers’ problems [San Francisco Chronicle]

In a rare show of bipartisanship, Democratic and Republican congressmen lined up Friday with Sonny Perdue, President Trump’s agriculture secretary, to hear the concerns of Central Valley farmers and ranchers….But there are increasing problems, starting with the effect Trump’s immigration crackdown is having on farms that depend on workers from Mexico, including many who are in the U.S. illegally….Joe Del Bosque of Firebaugh (Fresno County) said he had about 100 workers in the fields Friday, picking sweet corn and melons….Perdue said Trump “knows the importance of foreign-born workers to the agriculture industry” and wants to go after criminals, “but leave the workers alone.”


Prospect of ICE raids further chills agriculture labor force in Monterey County [Monterey County Herald]

During the ceremony marking the release of the 2018 Monterey County Crop Report, officials put the spotlight on celebrating women in agriculture. Instead, one of the women being profiled turned the spotlight on the underlying anxiety felt by ag industry workers….Last week President Donald Trump tweeted that “ICE will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States.”…Monterey County Farm Bureau Executive Director Norm Groot said it is more of the continued mixed messages and rhetoric coming out of Washington….Groot said immigration laws need to be straightened out.


Farmers welcome trade truce, hope for more [Wall Street Journal]

Farmers and agricultural groups welcomed the U.S.-China trade truce but many said they still need a comprehensive agreement to restore large-scale exports of U.S. crops and meat and lift the fragile farm economy. Trade tensions between the world’s two largest economies have weighed heavily on the U.S. agricultural sector, which has been in a multiyear slump, marked by low incomes and rising bankruptcies….President Trump said after meeting with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping that China will start buying large amounts of U.S. farm products.


UFW holds demonstration after recent hazmat incidents involving over 130 workers [KFSN-TV Fresno]

Two dozen UFW members marched outside of the Fresno County Ag Commissioner’s Office. They claim local ag commissioners aren’t doing enough to investigate two incidents where farm laborers were exposed to pesticides….Fresno County Assistant Ag Commissioner Rusty Lantsberger says worker protection goes hand in hand with enforcing pesticide laws.


Kings County approves hemp production ordinance [Valley Voice]

Concerned residents and county officials filled the room on June 25 as the Kings County Board of Supervisors voted on an interim urgency ordinance regulating the cultivation of hemp in Kings County. Unlike in Tulare County where the supervisors passed a moratorium on the cultivation of hemp, Kings County took a more comprehensive look at the issue and approved an emergency ordinance for limited commercial hemp production….While various community members were eager to see the ordinance put into place so residential areas are better protected, Kings County Farm Bureau executive director Dusty Ference said he felt the ordinance is rushed, and would benefit from more time under review.


Editorial: Is that bacon merely fakin’? [Wall Street Journal]

…These laws are billed as a way to protect consumers. In reality they’re a way for farmers and ranchers to protect their turf….Whether shoppers will take to the idea remains to be seen. But as for the labeling, they’re surely smart enough to discern the difference between meat, “plant-based meat” and some still-theoretical “cell-based meat.” Ditto for milk, which dairies perceive as threatened by sneaky impostors such as almond milk.