Ag Today Monday, December 21, 2015
Monday, December 21, 2015
New York Times
California Wants to Store Water for Farmers, but Struggles Over How to Do It
By Justin Gillis
FRIANT, Calif. — Californians suffering through the fourth year of a punishing drought have a new worry. With fierce storms predicted for the winter, they are bracing for floods by stockpiling sandbags and rushing to buy insurance.
Yet those who need water the most, farmers, are in a poor position to take advantage of any deluge. If El Niño floods pour into the Central Valley, the farmers will inevitably watch millions of gallons of water flow to the sea.
Ag Today Friday, December 18, 2015
Friday, December 18, 2015
Big break: Small businesses looking for annual tax deduction
By Joyce M. Rosenberg
Small businesses are close to getting a permanent half-million-dollar tax break when they buy equipment like cars, computers and machinery. But tax pros say owners should crunch some numbers before claiming the big deduction.
An agreement that was reached in Congress this week and is expected to become law would give small companies a $500,000 annual deduction for equipment purchases. The so-called Section 179 deduction has been in limbo the past few years, with Congress often not agreeing until December to raise it from the...
Ag Today Thursday, December 17, 2015
Thursday, December 17, 2015
National Public Radio
Follow The Money: Congress Uses Budget Bill To Rewrite Food Policies
By Allison Aubrey and Dan Charles
When lawmakers — and lobbyists — use the budget bill as a vehicle to slip in new policies or upend regulations, it reminds me of my kids at the grocery store.
They ask for Nutella. I say "No." But when I'm not looking, they slip it into the cart. And it's only the next day I see it slathered on toast.
So, here are some examples of food and agriculture provisions that have been slipped into the omnibus budget bill just...
Ag Today Wednesday, December 16, 2015
Wednesday, December 16, 2015
After two bad years for fish, water officials seek solution
By Alex Breitler
Not content to hope for El Niño storms, state officials on Tuesday approved a plan that — though watered down in the end — could result in better flows next year for endangered fish species decimated by drought.
The State Water Resources Control Board acknowledged that the environment, in particular, has suffered for lack of water. The temporary weakening of science-based water quality standards in the Delta and on upstream rivers preserved hundreds of thousands of acre-feet of water for cities and farms this year,...
Ag Today Tuesday, December 15, 2015
Tuesday, December 15, 2015
New York Times
E.P.A. Broke Law With Social Media Push for Water Rule, Auditor Finds
By Eric Lipton and Michael D. Shear
WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency engaged in “covert propaganda” and violated federal law when it blitzed social media to urge the public to back an Obama administration rule intended to better protect the nation’s streams and surface waters, congressional auditors have concluded.
The ruling by the Government Accountability Office, which opened its investigation after a report on the agency’s practices in The New York Times, drew a bright line for federal agencies experimenting with social media about...
Ag Today Monday, December 14, 2015
Monday, December 14, 2015
Drought worries weren’t enough to force agreement on Calif. water bill
By Michael Doyle
California lawmakers’ repeated failures to agree on legislation to resolve the state’s seemingly endless battle over how to use its water resources raise new questions about whether they’ll ever be able to find a compromise.
This year, the climate looked ripe for an agreement. The state endured another year of drought. The tracks seemed greased, with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, conducting. The staffers worked tirelessly, and in Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Central Valley Republicans had an experienced negotiating partner.
Now, cold rain and...
Ag Today Friday, December 11, 2015
Friday, December 11, 2015
McClatchy News Service
Angry California Republicans call drought bill dead for the year
By Michael Doyle
WASHINGTON - Angry California Republicans threw in the towel late Thursday, conceding that a California water bill that had divided the state was dead for the year.
In a remarkably acrimonious ending to negotiations that once seemed close to bearing fruit, GOP House members acknowledged the bill’s failure while putting the blame squarely on California’s two Democratic senators, Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer.
“It’s dead, unfortunately,” Rep. Ken Calvert, R-Corona, said in an interview Thursday afternoon, adding in a later statement that “our good faith...
Ag Today Friday, December 4, 2015
Friday, December 4, 2015
California farmers now see drought as rule, not exception
By Robert Rodriguez
FRESNO, CALIFORNIA - Farmers are no strangers to struggle or drought. But this four-year drought is different than others, they say. It’s more widespread, touching nearly everyone who turns on the tap or starts an irrigation pump.
This past summer, wells dried up and farmland sat idle. The drought also came to mean that life on the farm has likely changed forever.
“In the early years when we went through a drought, we tended to say that this too shall pass,” said Richard Waycott, president of the...