Ag Today October 7,2020

California’s Prop. 15 would raise taxes on commercial buildings [KCRA TV, Sacramento]

… Proposition 15 promises the biggest change in property taxes in 40 years. … Many farmers worry that Prop. 15 would become a big tax on agriculture and lead to higher food prices. “It’s really the consumer who’s going to end up paying several hundred dollars more a year on average for their food prices,” said Shannon Douglas, vice president of the California Farm Bureau, an opponent of Prop. 15. “Because as everybody along the line takes those increases, they’re able to pass that on to the consumer and that’s going to be a very negative thing for many families in California.”


Napa Valley harvest report: Surveying the damage after the Glass Fire [Napa Valley Register]

“Devastating” is the word winemaker Laura Barrett uses to describe last week, when the Glass Fire swept through the Upvalley and reduced this year’s harvest to a mere afterthought. This week’s harvest report contains a tally of vineyards/wineries in the Spring Mountain AVA that either sustained heavy damage or were destroyed. … According to the Spring Mountain District Association, every vineyard/winery on Spring Mountain sustained some damage.


Smoke damage to grapes is the latest blow to California wine industry [Marketplace]

… The year started off with a glut of grapes in the market that was hurting the price of wine. Then COVID-19 cut wine sales drastically and sickened workers. And now there are the fires. … John Aguirre, president of the California Association of Winegrape Growers, said it is unfortunate that winemakers are deciding not to take grapes because that puts all of the liability on the growers. He said growers and winemakers should work out a deal to make the wine and split liability costs if it turns out the wine is tainted. This is especially true, Aguirre said, because the smoke damage may be far more limited than people fear.


Study documents COVID-19 impacts on farmworkers [Santa Maria Times]

The first phase of a survey of California farmworkers about the impacts of COVID-19 found a community afraid to seek medical help, suffering financially more than most groups and missing out on information and guidance due to language barriers. … Recommendations include providing more guidance in indigenous languages, increasing government collaboration with community organizations, erasing barriers to reporting COVID-19-related complaints and simplifying access to support services. Results of the first phase of the study were outlined Monday in a virtual seminar titled “The COVID-19 Farmworker Study — Findings from California,” presented by the Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety at UC Davis.


Canada surprises U.S., targets Salinas Valley romaine lettuce [Monterey County Herald]

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency published import requirements for romaine lettuce grown in the Salinas Valley last Friday but the move has perplexed local leaders because it is not clear why this has come about since there are currently no illness-related issues. “This type of imprudent decision by our number one trading partner is not just impactful and harmful to our romaine producers in the short term, it also could set precedent harming trade for other agricultural products in the long term,” said Rep. Jimmy Panetta, D-Carmel Valley. … The requirements would affect bulk and fresh romaine lettuce from the Salinas Valley, which was valued at a combined total of $694,765,000 in the 2019 Monterey County Crop Report.


California electric car plan crushes Iowa farmers in move toward Green New Deal [Fox News]

California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s plan to embrace aspects of the Green New Deal and phase out gasoline-powered automobiles by 2035 could deal a devastating blow to Iowa farmers. … It’s the largest economy in the U.S. and the fifth-largest in the world, and standards adopted there have often influenced the development of vehicles in broader markets. That makes Newsom’s plan a worrying omen for the Corn Belt, whose production of cleaner ethanol has become a vital revenue stream. … “We are basically the renewable fuel capital of the world,” Craig Hill, president of the Iowa Farm Bureau, told Fox News. “It’s a big business for Iowa and for farmers.”


Ag Today is distributed by the CFBF Marketing/Communications Division to county Farm Bureaus, CFBF directors and CFBF staff, for information purposes only; stories may not be republished without permission. Some story links may require site registration. Opinions expressed in stories, commentaries or editorials included in Ag Today do not necessarily represent the views of CFBF. To be removed from this mailing list, reply to this message and please provide your name and email address. For more information about Ag Today, contact 916-561-5550 or