Ag Today March 5, 2020

KCWA’s 2020 Water Summit focuses on President’s memo on water allocation and fish [KBAK-TV, Bakersfield]

The Water Association of Kern County held its fourth Water Summit in Bakersfield at the mechanics Bank Arena on Wednesday. This theme this year was H20 2020 Vision….Julie Vance, a regional manager for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife spoke about how the timing of pumping at the delta can “really improve things for species without taking water for the people who ultimately need it.”…Cannon Michael, of Bowles Farming Co., offered his perspective as a farmer to the panel, acknowledging the huge water deficit the Central Valley faces, “so things are going to change one way or another.”


Cuyama valley carrot growers get the stick [Santa Barbara Independent]

The Cuyama Valley is the driest agricultural region in the county; the valley floor gets just a little more rain than the Sahara. Yet for the past 75 years, this high desert region has been a mecca for water-intensive farming on an industrial scale — first alfalfa, and now carrots, a $69 million annual crop….Now, to the rescue — belatedly — comes the state Groundwater Sustainability Act of 2014,…In all, the study found, nearly two-thirds of valley cropland — including carrots, potatoes, grapes, onions, garlic, lettuce, olives, peaches, pistachios, and alfalfa — would go out of production, and gross annual revenues would plummet from $121 million to $45 million by 2040. But without massive pumping reductions, Williams said, residential wells will go dry.


Opinion: The fate of agriculture in the San Joaquin Valley [Hanford Sentinel]

…To me retiring/fallowing 1 million acres of irrigated farmland in the SJV [as predicted by Dr. Sunding] has the equivalency of a “natural disaster” such as a magnitude 8.0 earthquake in the Bay Area or Southern California, or another massive California wildfire, or flooding, or a tsunami, etc….I fully expect to start seeing some early effects within the next 2-4 years with some significant ag land retirement particularly if we get back into drought conditions which it’s looking like right now….A major question I have is, “Will both the state and federal governments treat this with all the seriousness of a natural disaster?”


Merced County declares emergency, as cattle carcasses pile up from rendering plant issue [Merced Sun-Star]

A local emergency was declared in Merced County after two separate livestock rendering plants serving the area suffered equipment problems within a week of each other, causing animal carcasses to pile up….The local emergency was first declared Friday when rendering facility Darling Ingredients, Inc. in Stanislaus County reported mechanical failures….One week earlier on Feb. 21, rendering plant Baker Commodities also notified Fresno County of equipment issues….Two area rendering facilities suffering malfunctions created a dilemma for Merced County livestock owners who depend upon such plants to dispose of deceased animals.


Vegan protester who tangled with Jill Biden: ‘I felt empathy when I heard her yell’ [Los Angeles Times]

Animal-rights activist Ashley Froud had already jumped a fence at Joe Biden’s Super Tuesday rally in Los Angeles and begun to storm the stage when she heard Jill Biden scream….Hours later, a dramatic photo of the encounter — with the former second lady clenching her teeth as she gripped Froud by the wrists to prevent her from getting near her husband — went viral on social media….Froud bears no ill will toward Jill Biden, though she wishes the internet would direct its attention elsewhere…. “I’m a bit disheartened that people are focusing on her and her defending her man rather than on the message that I’m trying to send.”


Opinion: The abuse of dairy cows is a feminist issue. Yes, the ‘Moo Too’ movement is here [Los Angeles Times]

…I spent several years observing close-up the operations of a modern dairy farm, and I’m neither an animal-rights activist nor do I condone political violence, but I get the point: The way we exploit and abuse dairy cows as females can be seen as a feminist issue….If you can find a small, family-run dairy where conditions allow cows to be treated humanely, then wonderful: Enjoy a tall, cool glass of milk. Otherwise we should respect our cows as females and not support their exploitation and unavoidable, systemic abuse.