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Ag Today October 13, 2016

Agencies form to enforce new water law Landmark groundwater legislation’s first major deadline is June 2017   Seth Nidever, The Sentinel HANFORD – Come June 30, 2017, every inch of Kings County ground in the San Joaquin Valley will have to be under the regulatory authority of a groundwater sustainability agency. That’s the first major requirement and deadline included in the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, the historic state legislation passed in 2014 that for the first time regulates how much water farmers and cities in the state’s critically overdrafted groundwater basins can pump from below ground. An audience of growers and others involved in Kings’ private...

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Ag Today October 12, 2016

Westland’s farmers major contributors to Valley economy, report says BY ROBERT RODRIGUEZbrodriguez@fresnobee.com   Westland Water District’s farmers generated $3.6 billion in economic activity and created 29,000 jobs, according to a recent economic analysis commissioned by the district. The report, written by Pepperdine University public policy professor Michael Shires, details Westland’s contributions to the local and regional economy while also pointing out the consequences of farming without a reliable water supply. Growers in the sprawling district that spans 1,000 square miles over parts of Fresno and Kings counties fallowed 220,000 acres in 2015-16. The acres weren’t farmed because of a shortage of water stemming from a...

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Ag Today October 11, 2016

Bark beetles ravage forests of Tuolumne County   BY JOHN HOLLAND jholland@modbee.com   Four years into the drought, bark beetles did what was expected of them in the conifer woods of Tuolumne County. They bored into the trunks of moisture-stressed pines, cutting off the trees’ nutrient flow. Millions of dead trees mark the landscape, some of them in towns along Highways 108 and 120. “This is a nightmare,” said Steve Brink, vice president for public resources at the California Forestry Association. “Dead trees right next to power lines, right next to houses, right next to businesses.” He spoke on a tour bus making its way Thursday through Twain...

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Ag Today October 10, 2016

North Coast grape growers seeking more machines to replace vineyard workforce BILL SWINDELL THE PRESS DEMOCRAT | October 9, 2016, 12:11AM Perhaps no agricultural crop has been more associated with the work in the fields than the grape. From the Bible to John Steinbeck to Cesar Chavez, the words and images of workers toiling in the vineyards have been ingrained in literature, newsreels and history books. It’s also a common sight throughout the year in Wine Country, from workers pruning vines in the winter to early morning harvests in the fall. Sonoma County vintners employ an estimated 5,000 people in the fields. Increasingly, however, machines...

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Ag Today October 7, 2016

Water worries persist for agriculture -Westside Connect.com Posted: Thursday, October 6, 2016 8:51 am Uncertainty continues to swirl around water-related issues facing West Side agriculture. In the wake of a uniquely challenging summer when the supply of federal water in San Luis Reservoir was virtually exhausted, providers of irrigation water are looking ahead in anticipation of what 2017 may bring. Officials with the Central California Irrigation District, an exchange contractor with strong water rights, and the much smaller Del Puerto Water District, a federal water district running along the I-5 corridor, expect challenges to continue. Anthea Hansen, general manager of the Del Puerto district, recently told...

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Ag Today October 6, 2016

Argentina bets on U.S. lemon exports as soured ties turn sweet     By Luc Cohen | BUENOS AIRES Argentina, the world's top lemon producer, is confident a 15-year ban on exporting the fruit to the United States will be lifted soon as government relations improve despite opposition from U.S. farmers, an Argentine official said on Wednesday. The United States, the top lemons consumer, is evaluating an end to the ban amid a broader push from center-right President Mauricio Macri to boost agricultural exports after 12 years of isolation and leftist rule in Argentina. "The sector has made the improvements they asked of us so that we can begin...

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Ag Today October 5, 2016

Debate grows over SJ River plan Oct 4, 2016 at 6:43 PM By Alex Breitler Record Staff Writer A state official on Tuesday defended plans to permanently allow more water to remain in the San Joaquin River and its tributaries in an effort to help struggling fish species. The proposal, released last month, has come under attack from farms and cities that rely on those tributaries, particularly in Stanislaus and Merced counties. San Joaquin County also has a stake in the matter. Increasing flows on the Stanislaus River could make it harder to import water from New Melones Lake, water that east county farmers need so they won’t have to pump as...

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Ag Today October 4, 2016

WEATHER OFFICIALS SAY EL NINO IS A BUST AS CALIFORNIA ENTERS 6TH YEAR OF DROUGHT By Joe Ybarra Tuesday, October 04, 2016 06:43AM FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- El Nino was a bust and water remains in short supply as California enters a sixth year of drought. Experts thought 2016 would bring relief, but here we are, six years deep in the drought. Around this time last year, John Chandler had high hopes for rainy weather at his farm in Selma and snow in the sierra. "When El Nino didn't come about, it was very disappointing," he said. There was rain - a lot of it, in fact. Fresno...

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Ag Today October 3, 2016

State, county move on pesticides near schools Roberto M. Robledo, The Salinas Californian   While the state moves to ban aerial spraying of pesticides near schools, a Monterey County pilot project to provide schools with a pesticides warning system is moving forward. Both efforts are about a year away from implementation, officials said Friday. Officials of the California Department of Pesticide Regulation announced a proposed rule that would prohibit growers from applying pesticides into the air within a quarter-mile of schools and child daycare centers. The new rule is subject to a public hearing and comment period. State officials said, if approved, the rule would take...

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Ag Today September 30, 2016

Governor signs Gallagher's water storage bill Posted: Thursday, September 29, 2016 4:41 pm By Jake Abbott/jabbott@tcnpress.com Gov. Jerry Brown this week signed a bill by Assemblyman James Gallagher to expedite construction of water storage projects, such as the proposed Sites Reservoir in Colusa and Glenn counties. The new law will allow water storage construction projects to utilize alternative delivery methods for procurement. "It's great. It's something we worked with a lot of different stakeholders on, as well as worked across the aisle on," Gallagher said. "It's nice to see something that I think is going to be really helpful with building water storage." Before the new law...

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