Ag Today May 3, 2019

Newsom officially kills Jerry Brown’s Delta twin tunnels project [Bay Area News Group]

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday drove the final nail into the coffin of the most controversial water project in California in more than 30 years: Gov. Jerry Brown’s $19 billion plan to build two massive tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to make it easier to move water from the north to the south. The Newsom administration announced it is withdrawing permit applications that the Brown administration had submitted to the State Water Resources Control Board, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and several federal agencies. Instead, the administration said it will begin environmental studies on a one-tunnel project.


Sierra snowpack is 188 percent of normal [Bay Area News Group]

Surveyors testing snow in the Sierra Nevada for the state’s final snow survey of the year delivered welcomed news: The snowpack is nearly double the average for this time of year, assuring summer water for the thirsty state. On Thursday morning, Department of Water Resources surveyors weighed a tube of snow and found it held 27.7 inches of water, about 188 percent of the historical annual average for the site….The state’s largest six reservoirs are full, holding between 96 percent of their historical average capacity at San Luis Reservoir to 128 percent at Melones Reservoir.


Global meat companies feast on China’s pig problems [Wall Street Journal]

… A looming pig shortage in China due to African swine fever, which is deadly to the animals, could push up prices not just of pork, but also of other meats and other imported meats….China, which produced and consumed roughly half of the world’s pork last year, may have to satisfy its appetite with other proteins, in particular poultry….China may also import more beef, though it isn’t a traditional Chinese staple like pork and chicken.


With Trump rollback, school lunch could get more white bread [Associated Press]

…After complaints about taste and costs, the Trump administration rolled back a rule that required foods like pasta and bread be made with whole grains. The cafeteria directors who lobbied for the change say they just want greater flexibility to serve foods like white bread — which are more processed and have less fiber — when whole grains don’t work….The Center for Science in the Public Interest, which is among the parties suing over the rollback, notes the standards were based on the government’s own dietary guidelines and that most schools were successfully meeting them. But cafeteria operators said costs were higher, cooking was more difficult and students were throwing away more food.


We found the definitive strawberry, sunflower, watermelon, pumpkin and popcorn capitals of the country. Plus about 120 more. [Washington Post]

Every five years, the Agriculture Department’s Census of Agriculture allows us to answer important questions about the nation’s vast farm sector….The duel for Strawberry Capital of America is heated….The real honors go to Monterey County, Calif., where wide-open fields and powerful farming interests harvest more acres of strawberries (about 11,700) than the rival California counties of Ventura and Santa Barbara, and more than Florida champion Hillsborough County, home to the city of Tampa….Anchored by the city of Salinas, the coastal California county is just one crop behind neighboring Fresno County in the race to be America’s Agricultural Capital.


Opinion: America is at the end of the lime [Wall Street Journal]

…While most of America’s limes will be grown in foreign soil for the foreseeable future, many are again under American stewardship. In 2016 The Wonderful Co.—the Los Angeles-based “healthy brands” company owned by billionaire couple Lynda and Stewart Resnick—announced it had purchased I. Kunik Company, a major distributor of Persian limes grown in Mexico….As yanquis hail a borrowed holiday that remains obscure in much of Mexico, they will consume a garnish that has vanished from much of the north only to be supplied by orchards in Mexico owned largely by a grower from the U.S.