Ag Today October 12, 2018

Flooding irrigation being studied in Acampo field [KOVR TV, Sacramento]

Fourteen acres of vineyards in Acampo were flooded with water coming from the Mokelumne River as part of a program started by local farmers Thursday….Farmers around the region are expecting 2019 to be a dry year. So work is already underway to figure out how to increase groundwater storage in processes that are easy and affordable. “What we’re doing what is called groundwater recharge. It’s applying surface water to our vineyards right now, and that water will percolate into the aquifer and helped build up our aquifer underground water,” said Joe Valente, North San Joaquin Water Conservation District.


Hoopa Tribe suing feds over endangered salmon [Eureka Times-Standard]

The Hoopa Valley Tribe is suing federal agencies for allegedly failing to reduce the numbers of endangered Coho salmon killed by fisheries in the Pacific Ocean, the tribe announced Wednesday….The tribe demands the Pacific Fishery Management Council reconsult the Endangered Species Act to gauge a fully accurate picture of how current fishing models impact Coho populations near the mouth of the Klamath River….“What upsets me the most is management agencies have turned a blind eye to the negative ocean over-harvesting impacts, but are heavy-handed on the most minuscule amount of fish that manage to trickle into the river system,” Councilmember Vivienna Orcutt said, referring to federally placed divisions of water bodies near the Klamath River mouth.


Santa Barbara County in record drought based on seven-year rainfall total [Santa Maria Times]

While water supplies have rebounded for much of California, Santa Barbara County is still suffering from the worst drought in recent history, officials said. Following significant winter rains last year, Gov. Jerry Brown issued an executive order in April 2017 declaring the drought state of emergency over in most counties, including Santa Barbara County….Rainfall across the county in the 2018 water year, which ended Aug. 31, was 9.77 inches, or 54 percent of normal, based on an average of the precipitation measured at 14 locations where the county collects data.


Let the winemaking begin [Lodi News-Sentinel]

As this year’s grape harvest season winds down, many wineries in the Lodi area have begun pressing grapes to turn the fruit into wine. Stuart Spencer, executive director of the Lodi Winegrape Commission, estimates that this year’s harvest is approximately two-thirds done, saying that cooler temperatures earlier in the year led to a later start to the harvest….Bruce Fry, a grower with Mohr-Fry Ranches and chairman of the Winegrape Commission, said the harvest at his family’s vineyards is between 85 and 90 percent complete with some Cabernet, Malbec and Alicante varietals still left to pick….Fry said his grapes were largely unaffected by the brief spell of rain last week, which he said could have resulted in mold or other diseases.


‘Lifeboats’ amid the world’s wildfires [New York Times]

The fires left scenes of ashen destruction, but they did not wipe out everything. Scattered about the ravaged landscapes were islands of trees, shrubs and grass that survived unharmed. It’s easy to overlook these remnants, which ecologists call fire refugia. But they can be vital to the long-term well-being of forests. These havens shelter species that are vulnerable to fires. Afterward, they can be starting points for the ecosystem’s regeneration.


Opinion: A letter to California’s trees: It’s all your fault [Sacramento Bee]

…It might help if you trees would demand a bigger budget allocation, but you‘ve remained characteristically quiet. That has to change, because California’s tree problems might be too big for humans. For us to solve your crisis, we’d have to engage in well-funded long-term collaborations to restore and manage forests, and change land preservation and fire prevention. Such far-sighted governance has been impossible even when it comes to housing ourselves and educating our children, so it’s unlikely we’ll get our act together on your behalf.