Ag Today October 9, 2018

Water leaders provide promising updates for smelt restoration project [Woodland Daily Democrat]

The second year of a program to improve conditions for the endangered Delta smelt shows promise in creating a bloom in the plankton that nourish the imperiled fish. State and federal water leaders were joined Monday by Sacramento Valley farmers and water providers along the banks of the Yolo Bypass to hail the importance of the Delta Smelt Resiliency Strategy — a multipronged effort around restoring wetland habitat across the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to bolster the smelt population….A key part of the strategy is this year’s “flow pulse” that creates a plankton bloom that smelt can feed from, said Todd Manley of the Northern California Water Association.


Wild horse round-up in Modoc sparks slaughterhouse fears [Redding Record Searchlight]

A planned month-long roundup of up to 1,000 wild horses from the Modoc National Forest has raised the ire of horse lovers and animal activists nationwide who say the horses could potentially be sold to foreign slaughterhouses. Although the U.S. Forest Service had been set to begin rounding up the horses Tuesday, it has put the round-up date off until Wednesday due to recent heavy rains in the region….Forest Service officials say they want to remove the horses because the land cannot continue to support them.


Seaweed could make cow toots smell like ocean breeze, Tulare County farmers doubtful [Visalia Times Delta]

The smelly reality is that cows will always pass gas. But, if farmers had more access to seaweed, cow flatulence might just stink a little less for the planet. That’s the thesis of a New England-based aquaculture company which is launching a drive to become the worldwide leader in an emerging effort to thwart climate change by feeding seaweed to cows….As a 2030 deadline looms to cut dairy methane emissions by 40 percent, Tulare County farmers are skeptical that the solution to this complex problem could lie in seaweed grown hundreds of miles away from their farms.


Trump to allow year-round sales of high-ethanol gasoline [Associated Press]

The Trump administration is moving to allow year-round sales of gasoline with higher blends of ethanol, a boon for Iowa and other farm states that have pushed for greater sales of the corn-based fuel. President Donald Trump is expected to announce he is lifting a federal ban on summer sales of high-ethanol blends during a trip to Iowa on Tuesday….The EPA currently bans the high-ethanol blend, called E15, during the summer because of concerns that it contributes to smog on hot days, a claim ethanol industry advocates say is unfounded.


Opinion: Manuel Cunha, Jr.: Air Resources Board’s latest scheme punishes California farmers [Bakersfield Californian]

…Farms are particularly vulnerable to rising energy costs….Energy cost increases impact jobs. Tens of thousands of Californians depend on agriculture for their jobs and wages, whether they are working on the farm, in its supply chain or at the neighborhood grocer. Skyrocketing energy costs sparked by CARB’s regulations will make it harder for these employers to sustain good-paying jobs and threaten this pillar of our economy.


Editorial: Free trade lives on in North America under NAFTA 2.0 [Santa Rosa Press Democrat]

…California benefits greatly from trade with Mexico and Canada. Producers of dairy, tomatoes, almonds, peaches, walnuts, flowers, pistachios and more will be better off. California’s table grape and wine industries are big winners under the deal because they will have much better access to Canadian markets. That’s some small comfort after Trump’s trade policies led China to impose retaliatory tariffs on wine and table grapes….The real danger, though, is that Trump will conclude that his disruptive trade strategy has been validated and be emboldened to take even greater risks, which might not pan out next time.