Ag Today June 16, 2020

Sonoma County health officer reveals second coronavirus outbreak at local winery [Santa Rosa Press Democrat]

On the same day Sonoma County’s health officer confirmed she plans to reopen more businesses Friday, Dr. Sundari Mase on Monday revealed a second coronavirus outbreak in the wine industry involving three employees who have contracted the infectious disease. Mase declined to disclose the name of the winery, and would only say the employees worked in production rather than in a tasting room or part of the business where they would have directly interacted with customers or other visitors to the winery.


As meat plants stayed open to feed Americans, exports to China surged [New York Times]

… The data compiled by Panjiva, the supply chain research unit of S&P Global Market Intelligence, and the Department of Agriculture is potentially embarrassing for an industry that trumpeted its role in feeding the American public to argue to keep plants operating during the pandemic. Although some meat companies say much of their exported pork was produced before the outbreak, even previously processed meat could have stocked shelves in April and May. … Analysts say the meat shortages have subsided, with most plants having reopened, though many are still operating at slower speeds.


Farmers come together to feed those in need [KFSN TV, Fresno]

Many have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Seeing the need, Central California farmers and local organizations came together to feed those in need. Since the beginning of the pandemic, over 400,000 meals and 1,000 volunteer hours have been given to help those in rural communities throughout Central California.


Opinion: COVID-19 already toppled the income of farms, now it’s spreading to rural residents [USA Today]

… Almost overnight, the impact of the virus on the food chain from farm level production, to processing plants, to grocery stores and finally to the kitchen table were headlines on the nightly news. … Separate and apart from the impact the virus has had on farm families’ incomes is the impact it could have on their health. … The disease knows no boundaries, and its spread into rural areas is concerning. … According to an analysis released last month, nearly three-quarters of Americans live in counties where the virus is spreading and rural areas are beginning to see flare-ups.


California legislature votes to keep funding for Salton Sea project in state budget proposal [KESQ TV, Palm Springs]

The California legislature voted Monday to keep the Salton Sea in its budget proposal sent to Governor Gavin Newsom. Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia said he’s pleased the legislature found a way to allocate some funding for the Salton Sea despite the fiscal challenges created by the pandemic. His office tells KESQ News Channel 3 a little over $19 million has been allocated for the Salton Sea North Lake project.


Capitol Peak Partners and KKR win bankruptcy auction for Borden Dairy [Wall Street Journal]

Consumer-focused investment firm Capitol Peak Partners LLC and KKR & Co. won a bankruptcy auction for Borden Dairy Co., the milk producer known for its “spokes-cow” Elsie, people familiar with the matter said. … KKR is a major lender to Borden, which filed for bankruptcy in January amid falling milk consumption in the U.S., rising freight costs and the growing clout of retailers consolidating with other merchants or beginning to develop their own milk-processing operations.