Ag Today November 24, 2020
Trump environmental war against California ran deep. Here’s how Biden changes everything [Sacramento Bee]
… Experts say the Biden administration is likely to side with California officials on a host of environmental controversies. … All told, Trump’s four-year crusade to overhaul California’s water supply — and boost deliveries to Republican-voting Valley counties — didn’t amount to much. … What happens come January is uncertain. … The Trump and Newsom administrations have established a fair amount of common ground on how to deal with wildfires.
Coastal harm from invading saltwater ‘happening right now’ [Howard Center for Investigative Journalism via Associated Press]
… New scientific research...
Ag Today November 23, 2020
Editorial: Fresno’s Jim Costa can help farmers by getting Ag Committee chairman post in the House [Fresno Bee]
… Costa is well deserving on the basis of his background and experience, both in farming and in helping those needing assistance. … Ryan Jacobsen, CEO of the Fresno County Farm Bureau, said his board supports Costa’s chairmanship campaign. … More than 70 agricultural groups are backing Costa for the post, including the California Farm Bureau, California Fresh Fruit Association, Almond Alliance of California and California Citrus Mutual. … Costa has a superb background for the post and the focus and energy to do the job.
Do California ag counties hold...
Ag Today November 20, 2020
State mandates emergency workplace COVID-19 protections, less crowding for guest farmworkers [CalMatters]
California’s businesses must follow new rules to protect workers from getting coronavirus on the job, while harvesting companies must minimize overcrowding in guest farmworker housing following a California Divide investigation that uncovered rampant coronavirus outbreaks this summer among a low-wage workforce putting fresh produce on America’s kitchen table. The rulemaking body for the state’s workplace safety agency voted unanimously today to approve the requirements as part of a broader package of protections aimed at protecting millions of workers from getting coronavirus on the job. The California Division of Occupational...
Ag Today November 19, 2020
Latino population hardest hit by pandemic in California [KSBW TV, Salinas]
…During a zoom informational meeting Wednesday morning it was announced by the California Latino Legislative Caucus that Latinos account for 60-percent of statewide COVID infections and 49-percent of all COVID-related deaths. … According to Rivas, ag workers are 3-times more likely to get infected with COVID and they are twice as likely to be uninsured. Fieldworkers are considered essential workers, providing the backbone for the largest ag producing state in the nation, for that reason Rivas says they should be high on the list when a vaccine becomes available.
Ag Today November 18, 2020
California could get boost in race for top job on House Agriculture Committee [San Francisco Chronicle]
A Californian has not chaired the powerful House Agriculture Committee since just after the Civil War. Rep. Jim Costa is hoping to change that. … Costa has won the support of a coalition of 70 California farm organizations and water districts and the California Farm Bureau Federation, the state’s largest farm group. Sara Arsenault, who runs the federation’s federal policy shop, said Costa has been active on issues like immigration reform and labor concerns — areas that are outside the direct jurisdiction of the committee but of...
Ag Today November 17, 2020
Progressives have knives out for Heitkamp as USDA race intensifies [Politico]
Progressives within agriculture are mounting an aggressive push to keep former Sen. Heidi Heitkamp from being selected to serve as Agriculture Secretary in a Biden administration. The tension is emerging right as Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) has begun publicly gunning for the top job at USDA, a sprawling $150 billion department that feeds millions of low-income households, oversees agriculture policy and supports the farm economy....A coalition of more than a dozen groups is preparing to publicly oppose Heitkamp in the coming days. They include Family Farm Action, Organic Consumers Association,...
Ag Today November 16, 2020
Supreme Court agrees to hear California grower’s challenge to state farm labor law [Los Angeles Times]
The U.S. Supreme Court agreed Friday to hear a property rights challenge to a 45-year-old California labor law that allows union organizers to go on farmland to speak with workers at the start of their day or during a lunch break. Several growers backed by the California Farm Bureau contend the law should be struck down as unconstitutional because it amounts to the government taking private property. Lawyers for the Pacific Legal Foundation, who filed the appeal, called it a “union trespass law.”...At issue in...
Ag Today November 13, 2020
DWR study finds no ‘unacceptable risks’ at Oroville Dam [Chico Enterprise-Record]
A 19-month study of the safety of the Oroville Dam project has found no “unacceptable risks.” The Department of Water Resources released its Comprehensive Needs Assessment on Oct. 30, and notes its findings generally agree with those of an Independent Review Board and a regular five-year review by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that was completed in July. Though no unacceptable risks were found, several “potential vulnerabilities” were identified. DWR said work is underway to address some of those.
Some grocers bring back purchase limits as Covid-19 cases rise [Wall Street...
Ag Today November 12, 2020
Farmers donate money to help dairy in fight with city [Fresno Business Journal]
Donations from Central Valley farm bureaus hope to aid a Tulare County dairy in a legal fight against the City of Corcoran. On Oct. 2, The Tulare County Farm Bureau presented a check for $65,000 to Ben Curti and Tessa Hall of Curtimade Dairy to assist in their legal fees as they defend against accusations of groundwater pollution from the Kings County city, said Tricia Stever Blattler, president of the farm bureau. Over the summer, the Kings County Farm Bureau donated $15,000 to Curtimade. Donations came from farm...
Ag Today November 11, 2020
Business tax hike defeated as California voters reject Proposition 15 [Sacramento Bee]
California voters have rejected Proposition 15, a ballot measure that sought to make the biggest change to California property tax law in decades in order to raise money for local governments and education. The Associated Press said the measure had been defeated as vote-counting showed it failing, 52% to 48%. … Many business groups and the California Farm Bureau fiercely opposed it.
Santa Barbara Vintners Association drops wine tax proposal following opposition [Santa Maria Times]
The Santa Barbara County Vintners Association has withdrawn its plans to enact a 1% wine assessment...