Ag Today June 11, 2019

California taps clean air money to pay for drinking water [Associated Press]

California legislative leaders agreed Sunday to spend $130 million a year to improve water systems in communities where people can’t drink from their taps, something Democratic leaders say amounts to a crisis in one of the nation’s wealthiest states. To pay for it, the state would tap a fund dedicated to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, a move that alarmed some environmental activists who say its set up an unfair choice between clean air and water….To pay for the water improvements, budget writers are taking money away from the agricultural industry, which uses it for activities such as upgrading diesel engines and reducing methane pollution.


Trump calls Biden a ‘loser’ while heading to Iowa for potential 2020 preview [Bloomberg]

…Iowa will get a preview of a potential 2020 showdown on Tuesday when both Trump and Biden hold events in different parts of the state, which is already being blanketed by Democratic presidential candidates. Trump will visit the Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy project in Council Bluffs to celebrate a promise he delivered on ethanol….Biden, too, will be going on the offense, blasting Trump on the impact his tariffs have had on farming and manufacturing, his “childishness” in attacking rivals while overseas for a D-Day commemoration and his stance on climate change.


China trade dispute takes toll on California wine industry [Sacramento Business Journal]

The United States’ ongoing trade dispute with China means that California wine could be left out of one of the fastest-growing markets in the world. On June 1, China imposed its latest round of retaliatory tariffs on $60 billion worth of American goods. That includes American wine, which now faces a total tariff rate of 93%, according to the Wine Institute….China is one of the fastest-growing wine markets in the world, according to the Wine Institute, and could soon overtake every market except the U.S. in the total value of wine sales.


Trump could target French wine with tariffs [Fox Business]

President Trump said Monday that he plans to “do something” about the European Union tariffs imposed on American wine, saying the U.S. pays too much to export wine to France while the U.S. imposed low tariffs to import French wine. “France charges us a lot for the wine. And yet we charge them very little for French wine,” the president told CNBC Opens a New Window. , adding that California winemakers have complained to him about the EU tariffs….The president previously mentioned French wine in a November 2018 tweet, claiming France makes it hard for the U.S. to sell wine in the country.


We drink basically the same wine as ancient Romans — And That’s Not So Great [NPR]

…According to a new study in Nature Plants published Monday, many of the most popular wine varieties sold today are extremely genetically similar to the wines that ancient Romans drank — and may have existed for thousands of years longer….Of the 28 ancient seeds that the researchers tested, all were genetically related to grapes grown today….As the environment changes around these wine varietals, they remain the same — genetically frozen in the past. This renders them susceptible to ever-evolving pests, pathogens and extreme weather.


Horse owners encouraged to vaccinate against West Nile virus [Marysville Appeal-Democrat]

Horse owners are urged to vaccinate horses for West Nile virus (WNV), a mosquito borne illness transmitted to animals and people through the bite of an infected mosquito, according to the Butte County Public Health. Butte County Public Health and the Butte County Mosquito and Vector Control District are concerned about an increase in the number of mosquitoes capable of transmitting WNV in the area due a series of late season rainstorms and increased mosquito breeding sites in the Camp Fire burn zone….The most effective way to prevent WNV in horses is an annual vaccination, ideally, prior to mosquito season, to prevent WNV illness.