Ag Today September 14, 2018

More critical water storage is finally coming to California. It took nearly 40 years. [McClatchy News Service]

…The House approved several provisions Thursday that help fund water storage projects. The Senate is expected to concur shortly, and Trump is expected to sign the legislation into law next week. Republican Rep. Jeff Denham and Democrat Rep. Jim Costa have been pushing for additional water storage for the state for years in constantly-at-risk-of-drought California…. “This has been on our agenda for ages, before I even started here in 1991,” said Bruce Blodgett, executive director of the San Joaquin Farm Bureau, which has endorsed Denham. “It’s even more important now because the changing weather patterns have been more severe in recent years.”


Humans devastated California’s chinook salmon. Now they want to save it. [Christian Science Monitor]

…Prior studies found that juvenile salmon gravitated to the river’s shoreline for protection….River Garden Farms, a family-owned, large-scale farm based on the river, invested $400,000 in the shelters and obtained a $200,000 federal grant for the three-year pilot project, the first of its kind in the country. The shelters count as one of dozens of projects planned, ongoing, or completed on the Sacramento River since the Northern California Water Association (NCWA) launched a salmon recovery program four years ago that builds upon earlier efforts.


Trump says Democrats stalling farm bill, work requirement a must [Reuters]

U.S. President Donald Trump accused Democratic lawmakers on Thursday of stalling major farm legislation and said the work requirements in the bill were imperative….The U.S. Senate in June passed a sweeping bipartisan farm bill without the food-stamp changes approved by the House of Representatives, where the bill passed with only Republican votes….The Senate bill includes no major changes to the food stamp program, formally called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) program. The two chambers would need to reconcile the differences between the two measures before a bill can be sent to Trump to be signed into law.


Sonny’s roadshow: How Trump’s Ag chief sells a trade war to farmers [Reuters]

The grandfather known as “Secretary Sonny” on Instagram and Twitter has racked up thousands of miles, visiting 42 states, on a goodwill tour trying to shore up support among farmers who heavily supported Trump in 2016 – but now see their livelihood threatened after losing much of the massive Chinese market for staple crops such as soybeans, pork and sorghum….While many farmers remain loyal to the president, they have urged him and congressional Republicans to resolve the trade disputes with China, Europe, Canada and Mexico quickly as commodity prices and exports plummet….Others are downright angry, questioning the protectionist policies and criticizing the administration’s recently announced subsidy package for farmers, meant to help soften the blow of retaliatory Chinese tariffs.


Canada rethinks defense of dairy farmers as industry’s heft wanes [Wall Street Journal]

…Canadian dairy farmers depend on a nearly 50-year-old system for protecting domestic production….President Trump has called Canada’s dairy protections a “disgrace,” and his top aides warn they are now an obstacle in reaching a deal on a revised North American Free Trade Agreement before a late September deadline….Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has vowed to defend the dairy protections, known here as supply management. He has also hinted at concessions, a potentially high-stakes move for a leader facing a tight election race in just over a year.


Editorial: California’s experiment with beating back mega-fires [Southern California News Group]

…That’s why we as Californians know that we are going to have to bite the fiscal bullet that is, for starters, the $1 billion in new anti-fire spending proposed by the Legislature over the next five years aimed at getting some kind of handle on the situation….We know that climate change-induced warming and drought have already expanded the dangers of wildfires to every month of the year. So Californians need to commit to the new funding of $165 million a year for five years to thin forests and $35 million a year for five years to fund prescribed burning projects.