Ag Today, December 3, 2021
Our next edition of Ag Today will be distributed Thursday December 9, after a three-day pause for the 2021 California Farm Bureau Annual Meeting.
California will make PG&E pay $125 million for 2019 Kincade Fire near Geyserville [San Francisco Chronicle]
California has narrowly ratified a plan to make Pacific Gas and Electric Co. pay $125 million for sparking the largest and most destructive wildfire of 2019. The California Public Utilities Commission voted 3-2 Thursday to adopt an agreement between its safety staff and PG&E under which the long-beleaguered power company will be penalized for its role in causing the 77,758-acre Kincade...
Ag Today, November 30, 2021
Snowpack in California’s Sierra Nevada could disappear in just 25 years [San Francisco Chronicle]
As the climate continues to warm, more and more of the snow falling on California’s mountains will be replaced by rain. Already in recent decades, the snow season has shrunk by a month, according to one estimate, while snow levels have moved upward by 1,200 feet, according to another. Scientists and water managers say that at some point California’s snowpack could simply disappear. This would leave the state without the crucial spring and summer melt-off that fills rivers and streams, nourishes plants and animals, and provides a...
Ag Today, November 29, 2021
Supply-chain snarls leave Southern California swamped in empty shipping containers [Wall Street Journal]
The biggest export out of Southern California these days is air. And it is suffocating the supply chain. Hundreds of thousands of empty containers are filling marine terminals and truck yards across the region and tying up scarce trucking equipment as ocean carriers scramble to return empty boxes to factories in Asia. The gridlock on the export side of U.S. supply chains is the mirror of the congestion tying up imports, and officials say it is complicating efforts to unwind the bottlenecks at the ports of Los Angeles...
Ag Today, November 24, 2021
Our next edition of Ag Today will be distributed Monday, November 29. The California Farm Bureau will be closed Thursday and Friday for the Thanksgiving holiday.
‘Everybody’s pumping.’ How California’s plan to conserve groundwater ran into a drought [Sacramento Bee]
On the parched west side of the San Joaquin Valley, the drought has created a windfall for companies like Big River Drilling. A water-well contractor based in the Fresno County community of Riverdale, Big River can hardly keep up with demand for new wells as farmers and rural residents seek to extract more water from underground. “I could work seven days a...
Ag Today, November 23, 2021
Climate change fuels a water rights conflict built on over a century of broken promises [Washington Post]
The simple way to think about this crisis: There’s no longer enough water to go around to meet the needs of farmers and Native American populations as well as fish and birds. For more than a century, the federal government has overseen an intricate and imperfect system of water distribution intended to sustain an ecosystem and an economy. The whole precarious balance was based on the assumption that enough snow would always fall, and melt, and fill the vast watershed of the Klamath River...
Ag Today, November 22, 2021
La Niña: Is California heading into another dry winter? [San Jose Mercury News]
You may have seen it on social media or heard it while talking to a friend: This is a La Niña year, so California won’t get any rain this winter and the severe drought is only going to get worse. Right? Maybe not. Although that’s a common belief, it’s not supported by past history. The reality is that a lot depends on where you live. “The message most people get about La Niña seems to be biased by Southern California,” said Jan Null, a meteorologist with Golden Gate...
Ag Today, November 16, 2021
$1 billion project to expand major Bay Area reservoir gains momentum [San Jose Mercury News]
The rolling hills and ranchlands of eastern Contra Costa County are known for wineries, cattle ranches, wind turbines and growing subdivisions. But soon they may be known for something else: The biggest new water storage project in the Bay Area in years. The Contra Costa Water District is moving closer to breaking ground on plans to expand Los Vaqueros Reservoir, south of Brentwood, by raising the reservoir’s earthen dam by 56 feet, to 287 feet high. That would make it the second tallest dam in the...
Ag Today, November 15, 2021
'An unfixed problem': Family farmer says ending illegal dumping requires more than cleanup [Bakersfield Californian]
Longtime family farmer Tom Pavich is faced with cleaning up yet another illegal dumpsite on his farm east of Bakersfield where, instead of hauling trash and junk to the Bena landfill, someone decided to use Pavich’s land as their own personal dump site. It’s an ongoing problem, he said, not just for him but for growers throughout the valley and rural areas across the county. "Every appliance in your house, I've seen it," he said. "I get a couple of cars a year, torched." ... "You...
Ag Today, November 12, 2021
In a disastrous drought, a grim milestone: California could see its first big reservoir run dry [San Francisco Chronicle]
Lake Mendocino, once a plentiful reservoir nourishing the vines and villas of Sonoma and Mendocino counties, today is little more than a large pond, cowering beneath the coastal hills. ... Tens of thousands of people who rely on the reservoir, between Healdsburg and the Ukiah Valley, in the upper Russian River watershed, have endured months of painful water restrictions. Households have been forced to cut back as much as 50%, while grape growers have sometimes gotten no water at all. The hardship...
Ag Today, November 9, 2021
Thanksgiving dinner staples are low in stock thanks to supply-chain issues [Wall Street Journal]
The supply-chain crunch is about to hit another part of American life: Thanksgiving dinner. Supplies of food and household items are 11% lower than normal as of Oct. 31, according to data from market-research firm IRI. That figure isn’t far from the bare shelves of March 2020, when supplies were down 13%. For grocery shoppers this holiday season, it means that someone with 20 items on their list would be out of luck on two of them. ... Turkeys, yams and pies are low in supply, though...