Ag Today September 4, 2019

Dog deaths raise algal bloom alarm as states report more toxins [Bloomberg Environment]

A high-profile series of dog deaths has awakened the public to the growing problem of toxic algal blooms, spurred by rising temperatures and pollution. The blooms are emerging as a national, not just regional, concern, according to preliminary data reported to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency through July….While some states have closely monitored and tracked toxins for years, others are just beginning to build out more robust responses. California is on the more passive side of the spectrum. California’s rivers, lakes, ponds, creeks, and other watersheds are prone to harmful algal bloom outbreaks due to the state’s warm climate, reduced water supplies from drought, and runoff from agricultural and municipal operations. But America’s most populous state lacks a statewide routine monitoring program,


Dairyman shot in the head north of Visalia, killer on the loose [Visalia Times-Delta]

A dairyman man was shot in the head Tuesday afternoon. He died at the scene….The shooter is believed to have been a worker of the man killed. The dairyman has been identified as 56-year-old Tony Dragt….Deputies, who asked that their names be kept anonymous, said the shooting was a result of a labor dispute. The accused killer and dairyman argued over money and then the worker pulled out a gun and fired at close range.


North Coast grape harvest shifts into high gear as oversupply looms large [Santa Rosa Press Democrat]

…Wineries across the North Coast are ramping up their picks this week, after the annual grape harvest kicked off three weeks ago with fruit that went specifically into sparkling wine….The crop yield this year is expected to be average to above average in terms of grape tonnage as harvest nears its first full month. That news in past years would have been reason to celebrate, but such an expected output now is causing consternation given the oversupply in the grape market while there is stagnating retail wine sales.


Opinion: Grape harvest in Fontana occurs under gaze of curious commuters [Inland Valley Daily Bulletin]

I was watching the grape harvest in a field off Highland Avenue in Fontana when a woman in nurse’s scrubs parked her car and came over to watch too….A dozen people were picking grapes….I smiled at the sight of a woman in maroon scrubs standing in a field behind a tractor, taking a selfie….Grapes have been grown on the property known as Lopez Ranch for a century….I asked Galleano about Lopez Ranch, which his family leases.“It’s been sold to an investment group,” Galleano said. “So it’s only a matter of time. We’ll continue on until they tell us we can’t.”


Editorial: A scientific roundup [Wall Street Journal]

Perhaps you’ve read that science should rule when determining environmental standards. So why aren’t progressives cheering an Environmental Protection Agency order declaring that the chemical glyphosate doesn’t cause cancer?…The letter is a rebuke to California, which in 2015 said it would add glyphosate to its official list of carcinogens under the state’s 1986 Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, known as Proposition 65….California is the regulatory outlier attempting to impose its standards despite the precedent that federal law sets national standards on health and safety when Congress’s language is clear.


Editorial: Our diverse list of crops helps strengthen the cornerstone of our economy [Marysville Appeal-Democrat]

California is blessed, in terms of economic strength, with a great diversity of engines – agriculture, manufacturing, electronics, etc….We’re additionally blessed in heavy agriculture areas such as Yuba-Sutter-Colusa in that we have a great diversity in agriculture. We have a top 10 crop list, for instance. Go to Midwest states and you might be able to come up with a top five  list … corn, soy, wheat, livestock and … something else….We do rely on foreign markets for sales of many of our various crops; so there’s some reason to worry about politics, but not to the extent of states where the menu of crops is narrowed to corn and soybeans….Diversity is strength.