Ag Today

AG Today

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Ag Today, November 8, 2021

To fight off a California dust bowl, the state will pay farmers to reimagine idle land [San Francisco Chronicle] Farmer Erik Herman said he couldn’t help but feel a tinge of remorse as he looked out over the dirt field where an orchard of 8,000 fig trees stood until earlier this month, when they were uprooted by bulldozers in the name of conservation.  The orchard, seven miles outside Madera in the sprawling San Joaquin Valley, is another casualty of the water shortage that is forcing farmers in the nation’s top-producing agricultural region to abandon otherwise fertile ground en masse. Farmers are...

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Ag Today, November 5, 2021

A vote on water storage may be near [Southern California News Group] A proposed ballot measure would force the state to dedicate 2% of the general fund to building more water storage for California’s urban areas and farms. The Water Infrastructure Funding Act of 2022 would require the transfer of the funds into a trust account every year until the projects funded by the account have created an additional 5 million acre-feet of additional water supply that can be reliably delivered to Californians every year thereafter. A proposed ballot measure would force the state to dedicate 2% of the general fund...

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Ag Today, November 4, 2021

Supply chain delays disrupt California agriculture exports [The Associated Press] Amid an historic drought posing threats to future harvests, California farmers now say they have no way to export the crops they do have because of a kink in the global supply chain that has left container ships lined up off the Southern California coast with nowhere to deliver their goods. Problems with the supply chain have retailers worried their shelves — and their customers’ online shopping carts — will be empty during the crucial holiday shopping season, prompting emergency actions from state and federal leaders to clear up the logjam....

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Ag Today, November 2, 2021

PG&E under federal probe in Dixie fire, expects more than $1 billion in losses tied to blaze [Los Angeles Times] In yet another investigation into the role that utility giant Pacific Gas & Electric has played in California’s worsening wildfires, the company announced Monday that it received a subpoena from the U.S. attorney’s office seeking documents related to the Dixie fire. PG&E received the subpoena Oct. 7, according to Monday’s regulatory filing, which also said the utility expected to take a loss of at least $1.15 billion from the blaze. The Dixie fire — the second-largest wildfire in California history —...

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Ag Today, November 1, 2021

Farmers lose two skirmishes in California water war [Cal Matters] The most important battleground in California’s perpetual war over water is the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Dozens of Northern California rivers and streams coalesce in the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers, which join to form the Delta estuary and whose waters then flow into San Francisco Bay. Govs. Jerry Brown and Gavin Newsom wanted to head off a full-fledged legal showdown by urging “voluntary agreements” on river flows acceptable to both farm water agencies and the water board and negotiations have been underway for several years. One such agreement affecting the Sacramento...

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Ag Today, October 29th, 2021

Fresno County judge rules against Westlands Water District’s deal with federal government [Fresno Bee] A Fresno County judge has issued a tentative ruling denying a contract between the Westlands Water District — a water supplier to major farming operators on the west side — and the federal Bureau of Reclamation over water. The irrigation district failed to provide “any new or different facts, circumstances, or law” to justify renewal of its prior motion for “validation” of its contract with the federal government, Superior Court Judge D. Tyler Tharpe wrote in his ruling, issued Thursday. Although some of Westlands’ critics hailed the...

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Ag Today, October 28th, 2021

Less rice, more nuts: These charts show how California's top crops are changing [San Francisco Chronicle] California’s top crops have changed as drought strains the state’s water resources and farmers’ ability to access them. But that does not necessarily mean farmers are choosing crops that consume less water. Drought pushes farmers to shift their scarce water resources to crops with higher payoffs, such as nuts and vegetables, said Daniel Sumner, an agricultural economics professor at the UC Agricultural Issues Center — a trend particularly noticeable this year with its uniquely severe drought. A study Sumner co-authored using the U.S. Department of...

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Ag Today, October 26, 2021

Record rains transform a parched California, but ending drought remains elusive [Los Angeles Times] The drought-dried shores of Folsom Lake were damp this week after what officials called the first big storm of the season. The water level at Lake Oroville, which receded so much this summer that officials had to close its hydroelectric power plant for the first time, rose by more than 16 feet. And the Russian River — recently reduced to something more like a trickle — flowed with more ease after the atmospheric river dumped record-breaking amounts of rain across California, replenishing dwindled reservoirs and rehydrating cracked terrain....

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Ag Today, October 25th 2021

California rainstorm moves south; shelter-in-place ordered for Alisal burn zone [Los Angeles Times] The powerful storm that walloped Northern California over the weekend moved into the Southland on Monday, carrying with it the potential for localized flooding, strong winds and debris flows across the region. The atmospheric river event will probably peak in Los Angeles around midday Monday and could dump up to an inch and a half of rain on downtown L.A. The Santa Lucia mountains in San Luis Obispo County could see as much as 5 inches, and roadway flooding and debris flows in recent burn areas are possible....

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Ag Today, October 12, 2021

California still won't make coronavirus workplace outbreaks public [San Francisco Chronicle] Supporters of a push to require companies to report workplace coronavirus outbreaks publicly say they plan to keep fighting despite recent setbacks that they say allow big businesses to keep outbreaks secret. In February, Assembly Member Eloise Gómez Reyes, D-San Bernardino, proposed a law requiring the California Department of Public Health to report coronavirus outbreaks by workplace location, meaning outbreaks at specific businesses would be disclosed to the public. But that requirement was dropped from the bill’s final version, allowing companies — and public health officials — to withhold coronavirus...

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