Ag Today June 2, 2021

CA farmers brace for a dry summer [KFBK Radio, Sacramento]

California farmers are facing the fact that their water resources from the Federal Government are drying up. California Farm Bureau President Jamie Johansson points to a frustrating situation shaping up to be a repeat situation of the last drought.


Farmers facing California drought impacts feel strain of low water supply [KCRA TV, Sacramento]

… The California Board of Food and Agriculture met on Tuesday to discuss ways to help farmers and ranchers, as well as to discuss the proposed $5.1 billion included in the governor’s budget to address drought challenges and water infrastructure. After back-to-back dry years, the state’s water supply is strained, forcing farmers like Joe Martinez in Solano County to figure out ways to get the most out of their water. “There are some guys that are letting some of their older trees go without water,” Martinez said. “They’re taking what water supply they have and using it in their younger orchards.”


Editorial: Drought crisis requires more long-term plans [Southern California News Group]

… The state needs to get serious about investing in water-infrastructure projects. It should have been preparing after the last drought. … If water were truly a priority, the state could address the problems with a more concerted effort. … The state did not complete or even design significant new water storage facilities, or jump-start the construction of reservoir projects that have been on the drawing boards for decades. … California needs to prepare for the future, rather than react to the latest drought. It’s never too late to get serious about water infrastructure.


California wants to buy nonlethal bear traps and pay ranchers when wolves kill their cows [Sacramento Bee]

… Newsom’s latest budget proposal would increase the department’s funding by $252 million — a 28 percent increase — and allow it to hire 216 new positions. … Bonham said the funds in the budget proposal could be used to pay farmers on Klamath River tributaries not to irrigate their crops, a move that could leave water in-stream to protect endangered fish. … Newsom’s budget proposal comes with $3 million to create a non-lethal wolf deterrent program that includes funds to reimburse participating ranchers for when wolves attack their livestock.


JBS USA, world’s largest meat supplier, shuts down 9 beef plants after cyberattack; ‘vast majority’ of plants to open Wednesday [USA Today]

JBS USA, the world’s largest meat supplier, has shut down all of its U.S. beef plants in the wake of a cyberattack. … All of the company’s meatpacking facilities in the U.S. have experienced some disruption to operations, union officials said. … JBS did not respond to the union officials’ comments, but the company’s CEO, Andre Nogueira, said in a statement sent to USA TODAY that “the vast majority of our beef, pork, poultry and prepared foods plants will be operational tomorrow.”


Planning Commission to consider plans for large-scale H-2A housing in western Santa Maria [Santa Maria Times]

The Santa Maria Planning Commission will begin an initial review this week of proposed plans to construct dormitories for 3,600 H-2A workers on an industrial site in western Santa Maria. … Santa Maria officials have noted a decreased interest among contractors to house H-2A workers in residential areas over the past two years, with the Santa Maria City Council considering lifting requirements for additional permits related to housing workers in single-family zones this week. City officials estimate that Santa Maria hosts approximately 2,000 H-2A workers annually, with just over half living in hotels and the other half living in residential areas.


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