Ag Today

AG Today

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Ag Today March 16, 2021

Valley farmers assess impacts of recent storms [KFSN TV, Fresno] Storm activity has been bittersweet for Valley farmers. In some cases, hail has damaged crops, making them unusable, while snow and rainfall are helping Central California recover from a water deficit. … Ryan Jacobsen from the Fresno County Farm Bureau says he saw the worst hail in 10 years at his almond orchard in Easton. It was a potential big hit to his crop. Still, he says recent storms have done more good than harm. "By far, they have been much more beneficial. We are in such dire straits when it...

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Ag Today March 15, 2021

  The House is taking up immigration changes this week. Democrats are cautiously optimistic about Senate support [USA Today] Armed with hope for the first time in years that immigration legislation can pass through Congress, Democrats on Capitol Hill are moving forward this week on bills that could help create a pathway to citizenship for millions of individuals living in the USA without legal status. The House will begin action on both the American Dream and Promise Act and the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer's office said Thursday. … Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., a co-sponsor of the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, said Thursday...

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Ag Today March 12, 2021

Insurers busy dropping California homes and businesses over wildfires [Courthouse News Service] … As the severity of California’s wildfires continues to increase, wary insurance companies are fleeing themselves before the next big one hits the Golden State. … Meanwhile the California Farm Bureau Federation complained its members are being unfairly targeted in the fallout of the recent wildfire season. … “Commercial agriculture has been captured in the greater insurance availability drama that’s befalling many residential and commercial properties in the state,” said Robert Spiegel, a federation lobbyist. https://www.courthousenews.com/insurers-busy-dropping-california-homes-and-businesses-over-wildfires/   Farm Bureau sues Coastal Commission over land use [Half Moon Bay Review] The San Mateo County Farm...

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Ag Today March 11, 2021

Major thunderstorm sweeps through Fresno, warning issued for rain, hail [KFSN TV, Fresno] … The National Weather Service has issued a thunderstorm warning for Central California, which remains in effect until 3:30 pm. … In various parts of the Valley, hail pounded orchards, damaging sensitive crops. "The ground was just blanketed in white and that white this time of year can be very, very troubling, particularly for grapevine growers and anyone with tree crops," says Ryan Jacobson, the CEO of the Fresno County Farm Bureau. Jacobson says it could be several weeks before farmers can assess the damage. https://abc30.com/weather-central-california/10404746/   My turn? SLO County...

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Ag Today March 10, 2021

California Farm Bureau on the state's drought concerns [RFD-TV – Video] Drought concerns are looming for California producers. Highlighting the second dry winter in a row, the Sierra Nevada snowpack is just 60 percent of its historical average for this time. California Farm Bureau President Jamie Johansson speaks with RFD-TV's own Tammi Arender on current conditions in the state, the ag implications, and what they are keeping an eye on moving forward. https://www.rfdtv.com/story/43471234/california-farm-bureau-on-the-states-drought-concerns   Editorial: Newsom should kill plan to drain state reservoirs [San Jose Mercury News/East Bay Times] … Powerful agribusiness interests are expected to pressure the governor to waive state water quality standards. Gov. Jerry Brown...

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Ag Today March 9, 2021

Advocates fight Covid-19 vaccine concerns among agricultural workers [Wall Street Journal] … Community health workers like the Todec team are working across the U.S. to reach some of the millions of Latinos laboring on farms and in meatpacking and poultry plants, a group that is at once among the most vulnerable to Covid-19 and yet more reluctant than others to get vaccinated. The health workers are battling a deluge of vaccine misinformation spread among agricultural workers’ friends and family as well as in churches and on social media. … The health workers’ efforts may be crucial to bringing a swift end to the...

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Ag Today March 8, 2021

Eager to be vaccinated, California farmworkers face obstacles [CalMatters] … California has more than half a million farmworkers — and they appear to be eager to be vaccinated. Counties only recently started offering vaccinations to this hard-hit workforce, but agricultural workers are so far accepting the vaccine at high rates. … But workplace vaccination events are still few and far between in California, so farmworkers face many obstacles getting the vaccine, advocates say. The clinics are sometimes only open to workers of certain companies, and they are reliant on how many doses a county sets aside for them. https://calmatters.org/health/coronavirus/2021/03/california-farmworkers-vaccine-obstacles/   New vaccine allocation aims to reach...

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Ag Today March 5, 2021

A strike against global warming or a Big Ag giveaway? [Los Angeles Times] … The Biden administration is so impressed by the kinds of numbers posted by pilot projects such as California’s $21.8-million Healthy Soils Program that it is angling to replicate them on a much grander scale, creating a potentially billion-dollar “carbon bank” that would make payments available not just to modest companies like River Garden, but also to the nation’s industrial farming giants. The uneven evidence supporting the climate promises of carbon bank proponents, who include Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and top environmental advisors in the Biden administration, is...

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Ag Today March 4, 2021

Rep. Jim Costa pushes for path to citizenship for undocumented ag workers [KSEE TV, Fresno] … Congressman Jim Costa is a co-sponsor of the Farm Workforce Modernization Act which aims to protect an estimated 250,000 undocumented agricultural workers in California. … The proposed bill would allow ag workers to be able to apply for five-year ag work visas. They must prove they’ve worked in the U.S. ag industry for at least 180 days and pass a criminal background check. Those who have been here longer have the option to apply for permanent resident status after about a decade of proven ag work. The bill also...

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Ag Today March 3, 2021

COVID-19 still spiking in California farm fields [NBC Bay Area] … An investigation by NBC Bay Area over the last six months found that as COVID-19 created a crisis in agricultural fields, warehouses and packing plants throughout California, state agencies charged with protecting those workers were slow to respond and took little action. … NBC Bay Area’s Investigative Unit dug through CalOSHA inspection records and found no action taken against any entity relating to COVID protocols or violations until August 2020. … According to data Montgomery provided in response to NBC Bay Area’s public records act request, from the start of the COVID...

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