Ag Today March 24, 2021

California, get ready for water cutbacks. Cities, farms receive grim warning about supply [Sacramento Bee]

… The Department of Water Resources, in a rare turnabout, actually lowered its forecast of the deliveries it expects to make to the cities and farms that belong to the State Water Project. In its new forecast, the agency said its customers can expect just 5% of contracted supplies. … The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which supplies water mainly to farmers through the Central Valley Project, said that due to worsening hydrological conditions, the 5% water allocation promised to its customers south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta “is not available for delivery until further notice.”


600 farmworkers get COVID vaccines at SLO County event — and more clinics are planned [San Luis Obispo Tribune]

More than 600 San Luis Obispo County agriculture workers were recently vaccinated against COVID-19 at a special clinic in Arroyo Grande. … Prior to the event, health educators visited work sites to share vaccine information. … “This is a proud day for our Farm Bureau and agriculture community,” said Brent Burchett, executive director of the San Luis Obispo County Farm Bureau. “We never stopped farming during this pandemic. So many times over this past year we’ve heard ‘thank you, farmworkers,’ but today I think we truly showed our gratitude for their work.”


Central Valley honors workers on National Ag Day [KGPE TV, Fresno]

“It really, truly is a lifestyle that is unique here in the San Joaquin Valley,” said Ryan Jacobsen, the CEO of the Fresno County Farm Bureau. … National Ag Day started in 1973 to recognize the importance of the American farmer and rancher.  In 2019, Fresno County accounted for more than $7.7 billion dollars worth of food production. “Thank those farmworkers that made all this possible even during the coronavirus,” said Manuel Cunha, the President of Nisei Farmers League.


Zogg Fire sparks push for broader power shutoff criteria. Why California is pushing back [Redding Record Searchlight]

In response to last year’s deadly Zogg Fire in Shasta County, Pacific Gas & Electric Co. could trigger more widespread power shutoffs to prevent causing further catastrophic wildfires. … Since last fall, the judge and PG&E attorneys have held several court hearings and filed extensive documentation surrounding the Zogg Fire and whether to change PSPS criteria. … Mark Ghilarducci, director of the California Office of Emergency Services, wrote to the judge warning him the new conditions could create more problems for customers, local governments and firefighters and other emergency workers.


Opinion: Fresno County has a rare furry visitor from Oregon. Please don’t shoot him, or run him over [Fresno Bee]

… OR-93, a nearly 2-year-old male gray wolf outfitted with a GPS collar, has been tracked “in agricultural areas in central Fresno County,” according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. … Over recent weeks, CDFW biologists tracked the gray wolf from Mono County through parts of Tuolumne, Mariposa, Merced and Madera counties before turning up in Fresno County. … Let’s hope OR-93, who has visited 15 California counties (and counting) during his meandering journey, doesn’t encounter an overzealous farmer. Or make a habit of mixing with speeding traffic.


Opinion: The Supreme Court must protect the property rights of California farmers [Southern California News Group]

… By allowing union organizers to access Cedar Point’s property, the state gave the organizers an access easement, taken from the landowners without compensation. Unlike a limited health and safety inspection by government employees designed to protect workers from serious harm, this was a blatant example of one interest group convincing sympathetic policymakers to erode the rights of farmers for political gain. The union access rule is also completely unnecessary.


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