Ag Today November 19, 2019

Is rain done in 2019? Is California in a drought? What to know as weather stays dry [Sacramento Bee]

It’s been warmer than normal. It’s been drier than normal….What does all of this mean for the near future, in a state less than three years removed from the official end of its last drought?…Outside the midweek Sierra showers, there’s currently no rain in the forecast for at least a week, and perhaps longer, across Northern California. Long-range precipitation forecast models released by the NWS Climate Prediction Center for the week of Nov. 25 to Dec. 1 suggest a slightly better chance of rain for the central and southern Sacramento Valley than the region has seen to start the month.


CVWD approves taking on debt for first time for $40 million Oasis farm pipeline [Palm Springs Desert Sun]

The Coachella Valley Water District on Monday approved taking on outside financing for what is believed to be the first time in its 101-year history for a $40 million pipeline to bring more Colorado River water to the region’s farmers, freeing up valuable groundwater for other uses. A majority of the board voted Monday at a special meeting to give staff the go-ahead to pursue short-term, low-interest “bridge” financing for the Oasis pipeline project, by drawing on a $75 million line of credit CVWD obtained with Bank of the West on July 1….District spokeswoman Katie Evans said while a few good years of rain and strong conservation measures had replenished the aquifer underlying broad stretches of CVWD’s service area, the pipeline is a key piece to guarantee a stable future water supply that complies with state law.


Water coalition aims to coordinate conservation efforts [Klamath Falls Herald and News]

The Coalition of the Willing, a group of about 50 to 60 individuals who represent a wide range of interests related to water in Siskiyou, Modoc, and Klamath counties, has hired a facilitator whose salary is being financed in part by county funds, with pledges made by state and federal entities. The water coalition has been meeting since 2018 and started under the facilitation of Alan Mikkelsen, senior adviser to Secretary of the Interior on water and western resources….Dan Keppen and Craig Tucker informally chair the stakeholders coalition, which includes individuals from numerous organizations: counties, water user organizations above Upper Klamath Lake, and within the Klamath Project; irrgigators from the Rogue Valley, Klamath, Yurok, and Hoopa Valley tribes; waterfowl and fisheries conservation groups, as well as representatives from Oregon and California Farm Bureaus, and Klamath County Chamber of Commerce and other business representatives from the Basin.


Tehama County Farm Bureau hosts inaugural education day, trade show [Red Bluff Daily News]

The Tehama County Farm Bureau Monday hosted the inaugural Agriculture Producer and Continuing Education Day at the Tehama District Fairground….Farm Bureau Manager Kari Dodd said the event was a chance for local growers to get continuing education hours and a way to network with vendors….California Farm Bureau Administrator Jim Houston spoke about pesticide laws and the regulation of pesticides at the legislative level….Dodd estimated more than 150 people attended the event and the Farm Bureau plans for another Education Day next year.


Opinion: Thanksgiving without the sides: Lack of farm labor could make fruits, vegetables unaffordable [Redding Record Searchlight]

This Thanksgiving, as your family gathers together to eat classic holiday sides like green beans, sweet potatoes, corn and apple pie, imagine what it would be like to not have those dishes on your table. Because unless something is done about the lack of qualified agriculture workers that growers like myself are facing, we are headed down a path where the average American will not be able to afford fresh fruits and vegetables….If you care about maintaining access to affordable, American-grown food, I urge you to join me in asking our legislators to reform immigration policy. We need to make it easier to hire foreign workers when we need them without worrying about caps, cost and deadlines. Until that happens, both American farmers — and the families we feed — will be left in the lurch.


Editorial: House should pass North American trade pact [Santa Rosa Press Democrat]

On balance, however, this is an improvement over existing rules — and it’s unequivocally better than returning to the pre-NAFTA model….Reaffirming a North American free trade zone also would benefit American exporters who have been hurt by new trade barriers in Asia resulting from Trump’s trade war and his decision to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership….A new North American trade agreement is one of the remaining opportunities for a legislative achievement in 2019. Getting that deal done would provide a needed boost to the U.S. economy and give both parties something to brag about in next year’s election.