Ag Today May 12, 2021
Editorial: Do your job, Gov. Newsom — end water wars for state and Stanislaus fish and farmers [Modesto Bee]
… What we most need is for Newsom to summon the courage to implement voluntary agreements negotiated more than two years ago with federal agencies and our irrigation boards, whose patience so far has been rewarded with little more than supreme frustration. … Under heavy pressure from the powerful environmental lobby, the State Water Boards caved entirely, while Newsom held out for a deal that would make them more happy. Negotiations have been in limbo since. … The best and right solution...
Ag Today May 11, 2021
Drought emergency declared in Central Valley, Klamath region [CalMatters]
California Gov. Gavin Newsom today declared a drought emergency in 39 additional counties, including most of the parched Central Valley and Klamath River area. The declaration comes amid mounting pressure from lawmakers and growers in the Central Valley, who this year are receiving only 5% of their expected water allocations from the state. … The California Farm Bureau said today that it is grateful for the “short-term” relief for some growers that may come with the emergency order, but that what they really need is major investments in water supply projects. “By...
Ag Today May 10, 2021
Kern farmers make do under drought conditions [Bakersfield Californian]
Kern County ag producers are making changes big and small — from redeveloping entire orchards to fine-tuning their irrigation systems — as they try to adjust to worsening drought conditions across the Central Valley. Strategies vary depending on access to water and ability to shift irrigation to different fields. Some landowners are trying to hold onto as much water as they can in case prices rise later in the year. … "Growers with permanent crops will be making difficult decisions if their surface water allocations are limited this year," Kern County Farm Bureau...
Ag Today May 7, 2021
Farm-district Democrats raise caution flag on capital-gains tax plan [Wall Street Journal]
Rural Democrats issued a warning Thursday about the Biden administration’s plan to tax unrealized capital gains at death, saying they are worried about the potential impact on family farms. In a letter to House leaders, 13 members said they appreciated the administration’s proposal so far to let family-owned farms and businesses defer the taxes if they stay in family control and operation. They said they would push to ensure strong protections for farms as the plan advances and details get written. … The American Farm Bureau Federation will be fighting any...
Ag Today May 6, 2021
Biden administration looks to triple amount of protected land in the U.S. [Los Angeles Times]
Faced with the possible extinction of tens of thousands of species and the growing threat of climate change, the Biden administration on Thursday announced plans to protect 30% of the nation’s land and ocean territory by the end of the decade. … The proposal leans into the president’s message that fighting climate change will create jobs, making the pitch that nature is crucial to ensuring Americans’ health and financial well-being. It describes an expansive vision of conservation, making clear that the administration views cattle ranching, logging,...
Ag Today May 5, 2021
Fish or farmers? Newsom drought declaration would trigger new war over California water [Sacramento Bee]
… Experts say a statewide drought declaration would help drive home the need for conservation to Californians. But its impact would go well beyond symbolism and communications; it could bring significant consequences for the regulatory structure governing California’s complicated water-delivery system. Many farmers believe an emergency order could loosen environmental regulations and free up water supplies for them. Environmental groups fear the very same thing – that more of California’s dwindling water supply could be directed to farming at the expense of fish and wildlife.
Ag Today May 4, 2021
California senator seeks expansion of land, water protection [Associated Press]
California Sen. Alex Padilla on Monday proposed a vast expansion of government protection for public lands and rivers that he said would fight climate change and safeguard natural treasures for generations to come. His proposal would combine three bills already passed in the House and looks to take advantage of the Democratic tilt in Washington that is more welcoming to environmental protection, compared to the Republican Trump administration. Overall, it would expand protections for over 1 million acres of California public lands.
California's forest climate program could actually be increasing CO2 [ProPublica]
Ag Today May 3, 2021
Local leaders urging Newsom to declare drought emergency in Valley [KFSN TV, Fresno]
… The latest drought has growers taking extreme measures. "I know in this county, today, there are farmers that have bulldozed trees because of a lack of water. Productive trees," says Fresno County Farm Bureau CEO Ryan Jacobsen. … Democrats and Republicans don't often see eye to eye but they presented a united front in urging the governor to declare a drought emergency here in the Valley. "Without it, we will be moving from an emergency to an absolute catastrophic crisis," said Assemblyman Jim Patterson. State Senator Anna...
Ag Today April 30, 2021
California Senate proposes to spend $3.4 billion on drought [Associated Press]
Mired in yet another drought that threatens drinking water, endangered species of fish and the state’s massive agriculture industry, Democrats in the California Senate on Thursday detailed a $3.4 billion proposal designed to gird the state for a new crisis on the heels of a deadly and disruptive pandemic. … The money would bolster projects and programs the state is already doing, setting them up for the dry, hot months ahead. “We’ve been working with them to identify noncontroversial early action projects that will assist now — not six months...
Ag Today April 29, 2021
87% of additional California deaths in 2020 pandemic were workers, UC Merced report shows [Fresno Bee]
… Deaths among Californians between ages 18 and 65 increased by 25% during the first ten months of the pandemic, with the state’s workers making up 12,500 of 14,370 additional deaths compared to the previous year — or 87% of additional deaths in 2020, according to an analysis of state public health data by the UC Merced Community and Labor Center. … Agricultural workers had the second-highest increase in deaths between 2019 and 2020 — 565 more deaths or a 47% increase. Food processing workers...