Ag Today

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Ag Today March 23, 2020

COVID-19 exposure: Monterey County issues recommendations for farmworkers [Monterey Herald] Monterey County officials and agricultural leaders released advisory recommendations for farmworkers and other employees in an effort to better protect them from coronavirus exposure, which comes as the industry continues to experience chronic labor shortages. … The county’s new advisory adds voluntary enhanced worker health and safety measures, officials said in a press release. … The recommendations outline employee hygiene, ill employees, routine cleanings, as well as training, changes to process, and limiting non-essential visits and travel, the advisory says. https://www.montereyherald.com/2020/03/21/covid-19-exposure-monterey-county-issues-recommendations-for-farmworkers/   Opinion: Immigrant farmworkers feed us despite the coronavirus pandemic. They deserve better...

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Ag Today March 20, 2020

Gov. Newsom orders all Californians to stay home as coronavirus cases top 1,000 [Los Angeles Times] … Amid the continuing spread, Newsom on Thursday ordered Californians to stay at home, marking the first mandatory restrictions placed on the lives of all 40 million residents in the state’s fight against the novel coronavirus. … The mandatory order allows Californians to continue to visit gas stations, pharmacies, grocery stores, farmers markets, food banks, convenience stores, takeout and delivery restaurants, banks and laundromats. … It exempts workers in 16 federal critical infrastructure sectors, including food and agriculture, healthcare, transportation, energy, financial services, emergency response and others. https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-03-19/gavin-newsom-california-1-billion-federal-aid-coronavirus   ‘Devastating...

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Ag Today March 20, 2020

Marin food suppliers taxed by pandemic’s demands [Marin Independent Journal] From local farmers to grocers, Marin County’s food supply chain is feeling the strain caused by the new coronavirus pandemic and is trying to rapidly adapt to meet the growing demands. … The California Farm Bureau Federation announced Wednesday that it will be working with local, state and federal governments to assure ranchers and farms have the resources they need to maintain food supplies. “Through drought, freeze, world war and the trauma of 9/11, farmers and ranchers and people throughout the food chain have kept Americans supplied with safe, affordable food...

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Ag Today March 18, 2020

Sacramento County won't run out of food any time soon, so stop panic buying [KXTV, Sacramento] Empty shelves at the grocery store are no cause for concern, because Sacramento County isn’t running out food any time soon. “Definitely, we’re not going to run out of food,” said Lindsey Liebig, executive director for the Sacramento County Farm Bureau. … Growers and retailers are just in a game of catch-up to restock the shelves. https://www.abc10.com/article/news/health/coronavirus/sacramento-county-food-coronavirus/103-0d2678f2-e073-43b2-a272-625eccc1ad3d   Global harvests at risk with travel limits squeezing labor [Bloomberg News] Across the globe, governments are imposing travel limits in a bid to stem the spread of coronavirus. The unintended consequence...

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Ag Today March 17, 2020

Will the Bay Area run out of food? Nope. The supply chain is healthy [San Francisco Chronicle] Those picked-over grocery-store shelves don’t tell the full story. The Bay Area is not in danger of running out of food, industry members and experts say, and the food supply chain is as healthy as ever….Even before six Bay Area counties issued “shelter in place” orders on Monday, long lines snaked through many grocery stores here, and items like toilet paper and hand sanitizer appeared to be in short supply as residents prepared to hunker down in their homes to mitigate the spread of...

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Ag Today March 16, 2020

Farmers markets canceled through end of the month [San Diego Union-Tribune] Many farmers markets are being canceled through the end of March over concerns of community spread of COVID-19. The closures are part of the county’s decision to follow the state’s lead, banning all events of 250 people or more….In other parts of the county, there are still some markets that will remain open….Customers are encouraged to wash their hands often and stay home if they’re sick. The aisles of the market will also be widened to allow for better social distancing between customers. https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/health/story/2020-03-13/farmers-markets-canceled-through-end-of-the-month   Napa Valley anxious after Newsom calls for halt...

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Ag Today March 13, 2020

Trump likely to declare national emergency over the coronavirus [Los Angeles Times] Several local farmers markets will suspend operations because of coronavirus concerns, including those in Beverly Hills, Culver City and the Saturday Torrance market. Other markets such as Hollywood, Pasadena and Santa Monica plan to remain open for now, officials said. Farmers, managers, restaurants and customers are all scrambling to deal with the quickly evolving situation….Susan Hutchinson, assistant manager of the Torrance farmers markets, said she learned Thursday afternoon that the city’s event would not be held on Saturday,…“Farmers are devastated, a lot of them were crying at my farmers...

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Ag Today March 12, 2020

Coronavirus has crippled global shipping. That’s bad for California farmers and winemakers [Sacramento Bee] By disrupting worldwide cargo shipping, the coronavirus pandemic is creating major headaches for California’s $50 billion-a-year farming industry. From rice to pistachios to oranges, farm exporters said they’ve been struggling to get their hands on empty cargo containers needed for shipping goods to international markets….The coronavirus outbreak, which was declared a pandemic Wednesday by the World Health Organization, has clobbered the shipping industry to a degree never seen before….As a result, farm trucks have been lining up daily at the Oakland docks, waiting for empty containers that...

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Ag Today March 11, 2020

U.S. farmers still dependent on trade aid after China deal [Reuters] …Now, with Chinese buying of most farm goods still lagging their 2017 levels, the administration says it may extend the farm subsidy program for a third year - money farmers say they still desperately need….The about-face reflects vagaries in the so-called Phase 1 trade deal: China did not commit to a timeline for ramping up imports of U.S. farm goods to make the 2020 goal of $36.5 billion, up from $24 billion in 2017. It also underscores economic uncertainty as China slowly reopens ports, roads and factories amid a coronavirus...

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Ag Today March 10, 2020

Column: As coronavirus spreads, how safe is a trip to the supermarket? [Los Angeles Times] Timothy Blair was shopping at a Ralphs supermarket in West Los Angeles the other day, and he had the same thought that I and possibly many other people have had while traversing the produce aisles. Is it safe for all those fruits and vegetables to be out in the open, easily handled -- and put back -- by any number of strangers?...The question of supermarket food safety is one that’s received less attention but may be of growing concern as the virus spreads. Marion Nestle, a...

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