Ag Today May 31, 2017
Immigration policy threatens crops
Posted: May 30, 2017 12:18 PM PDT Updated: May 30, 2017 12:28 PM PDT
Credit: NBC Newschannel
The winds of change are blowing through fields growing a huge portion of the nation's fresh fruits and vegetables in California's Central Valley.
Many fear a worker shortage because of immigration crackdowns, saying it could be catastrophic.
"It's not like your food is going to be twice as expensive, it's going to be five times as expensive, and that just doesn't seem to be on people's radars," says Jason Carter, general manager of Zotovich Winery and Vineyards.
"I would say there is concern," says Kern County Farm...
Ag Today May 30, 2017
Congress weighs in on farmer facing $2.8 million fine
Damon Arthur , Record Searchlight Published 5:37 p.m. PT May 28, 2017 | Updated 6:18 p.m. PT May 28, 2017
Congress has weighed in on a case in which a farmer faces a $2.8 million fine for allegedly plowing wetlands in his Tehama County field.
Chairmen of the House judiciary and agriculture committees sent a letter last week to Attorney General Jeff Sessions asking for clarification on the department’s reasoning behind the case against John Duarte Nursery.
“The prosecution of Mr. Duarte raises concerns that the Congressional intent behind the farming exemptions in the statute is misunderstood,”...
Ag Today May 26, 2017
Ag leaders have high hopes for new USDA structure
Published on 05/25/2017 - 2:01 pm
Written by David Castellon
A reorganization within the U. S. Department of Agriculture by the new secretary could benefit California’s ag industry on immigration and trade, said the president of California Fresh Fruit Association.
“I think those have real potential,” George Radanovich said of Secretary Sonny Perdue’s recent announcement that he has created two new undersecretary positions, one to promote the sales of U.S. agricultural goods in foreign markets and the other to focus on domestic agricultural issues.”
“Perdue has said he wants to be the chief advocate of ag...
Ag Today May 25, 2017
Trump Threats, Minimum Wage, Overtime Hitting California Farmers Hard
May 24, 2017 11:37 PM By Shirin Rajaee
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Faced with an urgent shortage of workers, California farmers are desperate to be heard.
“If we can’t change the way we’re doing business, we’re at risk,” said Brad Goehring, a fourth-generation wine grape grower in Lodi.
The state has been struggling with this farm labor shortage issue for years, but it’s gotten to a point where farmers are fed-up.
As harvesting season gets underway, many growers in need of workers fear they may lose their crops, and President Donald Trump’s crackdown on immigration orders appears to only make matters worse.
Goehring says it’s become...
Ag Today May 24, 2017
Congress and Farmers Are Shocked By Proposed USDA Cuts
May 23, 20175:21 PM ET
Top officials at the U.S. Department of Agriculture didn't even try to act enthusiastic as they unveiled details of their agency's proposed 2018 budget, which includes drastic cuts in spending. "We're going to do the best we can," said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. "It's my job to implement that plan."
The broad outlines of this budget, with its 20 percent cut in the USDA's discretionary spending, had been released two months ago. This week, it became clear exactly what the Trump administration wants to cut: agricultural research, food aid...
Ag Today May 23, 2017
Farmer faces $2.8 million fine for plowing field
Damon Arthur , Record Searchlight
Published 5:57 p.m. PT May 22, 2017
A farmer faces trial in federal court this summer and a $2.8 million fine for failing to get a permit to plow his field and plant wheat in Tehama County.
A lawyer for Duarte Nursery said the case is important because it could set a precedent requiring other farmers to obtain costly, time-consuming permits just to plow their fields.
“The case is the first time that we’re aware of that says you need to get a (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) permit to plow to grow crops,”...
Ag Today May 22, 2017
Most California farm-water suppliers are breaking this law. Why doesn’t the state act?
BY RYAN SABALOW AND PHILLIP REESE, The Sacramento Bee
During California’s epic five-year drought, most of the state’s irrigation districts didn’t comply with a 2007 law that requires them to account for how much water they’re delivering directly to farmers, a Bee investigation has found.
State regulators are largely powerless to stop them, but they don’t seem too bothered by it. They say they’d rather switch to a different form of reporting.
Farm-advocacy groups say irrigation districts have been bombarded with a confusing slew of state and federal laws and regulations that...
Ag Today May 19, 2017
Prospect of NAFTA rewrite gives US farmers a case of jitters
BY PAUL WISEMANAP Economics Writer-The Sacramento Bee
A sizable majority of rural Americans backed Donald Trump's presidential bid, drawn to his calls to slash environmental rules, strengthen law enforcement and replace the federal health care law.
But many farmers are nervous about another plank in Trump's agenda: His vow to overhaul U.S. trade policy, including his intent announced Thursday to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico.
Trump's message that NAFTA was a job-killing disaster had never resonated much in rural America. NAFTA had widened access to Mexican and...
Ag Today May 18, 2017
Will The Government Help Farmers Adapt To A Changing Climate?
May 18, 20178:00 AM ET
FROMHARVEST PUBLIC MEDIA
The Agriculture Department established research centers in 2014 to translate climate science into real-world ideas to help farmers and ranchers adapt to a hotter climate. But a tone of skepticism about climate change from the Trump administration has some farmers worried that this research they rely on may now be in jeopardy.
Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media
The livelihoods of farmers and ranchers are intimately tied to weather and the environment. But they may not be able to depend on research conducted by the government to help...
Ag Today May 17, 2017
MAY 16, 2017 5:42 PM
Agriculture teachers balk at what governor proposes to do with $15 million in budget
BY JOHN HOLLAND
High school agriculture teachers object to Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed shift of $15 million for technical career training.
The plan for the fiscal year starting July 1 would put this money under workforce programs at community colleges, added to the $33 million they already were getting in recent years.
The shift would mean less money for in-service training of new high school teachers and for Future Farmers of America, which is closely tied to ag education. It also would reduce spending on “academies”...