Ag Today November 29, 2018

Deal reached in farm bill talks [Politico]

Farm bill negotiators said Thursday they reached an “agreement in principle,” offering hope of breaking a months-long impasse over commodity and food-stamp policy that would pave the way for Congress to send legislation to President Donald Trump before the end of the year. Details of the compromise weren’t immediately released….Timing is critical. Before the sweeping agriculture and nutrition bill can become law, a conference report needs to be finalized, and Congress must pass the measure in both chambers before the end of the year. If not, the legislative process will start anew when the next Congress is seated in January.


FDA: Monterey County one of six possible sources for E. coli-tainted romaine [Salinas Californian]

Monterey County is among six California counties identified by the U.S. Department of Food and Agriculture as possible origins for romaine lettuce contaminated with E. coli. Preliminary traceback information released by the FDA Wednesday indicates that Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz and Ventura counties are areas where the tainted romaine was grown….Romaine grown outside of the Central Coast region does not appear to be related to the current outbreak, the FDA said.


VERIFY: Trump didn’t overturn Obama era rules on water testing, but they were postponed [WUSA-TV, Washington, D.C.]

While the FDA hasn’t yet identified a specific source of the latest lettuce E.Coli outbreak, some social media users have made claims that it’s ‘all because Trump overturned Obama-era rules to test our farm water.’…Is this true? Did President Trump or his administration overturn any regulations that would’ve required water testing in farms?…No, the rules and regulations put in place under the Obama administration have not been removed, replaced or “overturned” as this post claims. The FDA has postponed the compliance dates for certain regulations that would have begun to take effect in 2018 – including testing of “agricultural water” on farms.


Imperial Valley judge warns fight over water rights could head to Congress or the U.S. Supreme Court [Palm Springs Desert Sun]

A group of powerful Imperial Valley farmers and their irrigation district need to work together for the benefit of the region, according to Superior Court Judge L. Brooks Anderholt. He warned a fight between the two sides over rights to Colorado River water and the need to address a prolonged drought across the Southwest could spur action by Congress, or end up in the U.S. Supreme Court….Anderholt made his remarks during a hearing Wednesday on a motion by third-generation grower Michael Abatti, who is seeking an injunction to bar the Imperial Irrigation District from signing onto a federal emergency drought plan for the fast-dwindling river system.


U.S. farm sector stockpiles Chinese chemicals before scheduled tariffs [Reuters]

U.S. agriculture suppliers are stockpiling the Chinese chemicals that farmers need to kill crop pests and boost yields – before tariffs on them more than double on Jan. 1….The duties could disrupt supply lines for U.S. companies that sell chemicals and fertilizers, part of a $28-billion U.S. farm chemical industry….Higher tariffs on farm chemicals would deal another blow to an agricultural industry that has already seen prices for staple crops plummet because of the trade war between the world’s two largest economies.