Ag Today September 24, 2018

Stanislaus County appeals ruling that would make it harder for farmers to dig wells [Modesto Bee]

Stanislaus County will ask the state Supreme Court for a ruling on whether environmental review is a necessary step for a new water well….The plaintiffs claimed the county was violating the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) in approving well permits without considering environmental harm…Wayne Zipser, executive director of Stanislaus County Farm Bureau, said a victory for the plaintiffs would be terribly burdensome for land owners.


A Delta farmer says the state poisoned his crops. Is California’s water supply safe? [Sacramento Bee]

…Fluridone is just one chemical the state uses to kill weeds across the Delta’s 60,000-acre spider web of sloughs and river channels that stretch from south of Sacramento and west of Stockton to the San Francisco Bay. Not only do the weeds snarl boat propellers, state officials say it’s critical to knock them back to keep water flowing to millions of acres of California farmland and 25 million urban Californians. Aiello says the water used to irrigate his Brentwood peppers was pumped directly out of the Delta.


Los Angeles reduces Eastern Sierra water deliveries because of climate change. At risk, ranchers say, is a way of life [Los Angeles Times]

…Citing climate change, LADWP this year shifted its irrigation policy, saying ranchers who lease grazing areas on its 6,400 acres near Crowley Lake should no longer bank on the promise of ample water when they renew. Water officials say the change is necessary as decreased snowmelt leaves them little water to spare. But the move could turn grasslands brown, rattling ecosystems, the local economy and a way of life, ranchers warn.


Opinion: State likes its old science even when new studies prove it wrong [Modesto Bee]

…The state is required by law to use the “best available science” to inform its far-reaching, even devastating conclusions. To justify its demands, the state recruited five scientists to review the science in 2012. But not a single study they reviewed was published after 2011. Most were from the 1990s….If the state bothered to look at more current, also peer-reviewed studies published within the past three years, it would have found plenty of data to refute the notion that more water equals more fish.


Editorial: The Chronicle recommends no on California Prop. 12 [San Francisco Chronicle]

…Since Prop. 2’s passage, California egg production has dropped significantly and egg prices have risen by 33 percent, according to the California Farm Bureau. The new measure is also an effective fundraising issue for the primary proponent, the Humane Society of the United States. The Chronicle recommended a “no” vote on the first proposition, saying the ballot box is not the place to regulate this aspect of California agriculture. That is also true this time, and voters should reject Prop. 12.


Editorial: Grapes of Union Wrath [Wall Street Journal]

Workers at Dan Gerawan’s third-generation family farm in Fresno, Calif., voted five long years ago to decertify the United Farm Workers. Their ballots were finally counted this week following a tortuous battle that illustrates how liberal government often subjugates individual worker rights to union politics….It’s shameful that workers had to wait five years for this vindication, and their saga is another example of the often abusive power of a Big Labor-government condominium.