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Ag Today, February 7, 2020

Lone wolf traveled 8,700 miles looking for a mate. She was just found dead in California [Sacramento Bee] An endangered female gray wolf known as OR-54 didn’t live long enough to find a mate, despite making an 8,700-mile meandering journey through three states looking for one. On Wednesday, California wildlife biologists found the lonesome wolf’s carcass in Shasta County. It’s not clear if the wolf died naturally, accidentally, or is the second California wolf to be killed by a poacher in as many years….OR-54 was suspected in at least five different attacks on livestock in Plumas County last year, according to...

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Ag Today February 6, 2020

Newsom seeks peace with Trump in California water wars. Enviros are ready to fight [Sacramento Bee] Two months ago, Gov. Gavin Newsom seemed poised to file yet another suit against President Donald Trump — this time, over a federal plan to pump more water to Trump’s farming allies in the San Joaquin Valley. Instead, Newsom announced a compromise this week that aims to avoid another protracted legal battle….The governor’s newest proposal signals Newsom may be softening his fight against Trump, but opening another battle. Newsom may have traded a court fight with Trump for a legal battle with the very environmentalists...

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Ag Today February 5, 2020

Newsom administration trying again for a river flow deal [Los Angeles Times] The Newsom administration Tuesday floated a proposal to avert a protracted legal battle over new state standards that would make some of California’s biggest water users cut their river diversions to help struggling fish populations. State officials see a settlement as the linchpin of administration water policies that have been bogged down in the perennial conflicts over the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, a source of water for much of California and home to some of its most threatened native fish. https://www.latimes.com/environment/story/2020-02-05/newsom-administration-trying-again-for-river-flow-deal   Commentary: Gov. Newsom: California must get past differences on water. Voluntary...

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Ag Today February 4, 2020

California canals damaged by sinking soil, groundwater pumping. New bills aim to help [Fresno Bee] Democratic congressman from Fresno introduced two pieces of legislation that aim to repair aging canals and water infrastructure in California that’s been damaged by sinking ground levels – called subsidence, caused by groundwater pumping….The bills are the Conveyance Capacity Correction Act, introduced by Costa, and the Western Water Storage Infrastructure Act, introduced by Cox. The second “would provide additional funding for surface storage, groundwater storage, and the supporting conveyance facilities” with $800 million between fiscal years 2020 and 2024. https://www.fresnobee.com/news/local/water-and-drought/article239924363.html   Dog sleuths sniff out crop disease hitting citrus...

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Ag Today February 3, 2020

In fight to survive, US dairy farmers look for any tech edge [Associated Press] …Technology has played an important role in agriculture for years but it’s become a life and death matter at dairy farms these days, as low milk prices have ratcheted up pressure on farmers to seek every possible efficiency to avoid joining the thousands of operations that have failed….Technology can mean survival, but it involves a perilous gamble: Will the machines produce savings fast enough to cover the debt they incur?...The dairy industry is caught in a vise between consumer trends and competition….With dairy prices outside farmers’ control,...

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Ag Today January 31, 2020

Dry, sunny days in January have taken a toll on California’s snowpack [Los Angeles Times] All of those dry January days have taken a toll on California’s snowpack, but officials say it’s too early to worry about drought conditions. Surveyors with the California Department of Water Resources trekked through a snow-covered field Thursday at the department’s Phillips station, above Lake Tahoe, to take the second seasonal measurement that serves as an important marker for the state’s water supply. The result — 40.5 inches deep — is 79% of average for the time of year at that location….The good news, officials say,...

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Ag Today January 30, 2020

Local Ag Warns Corcoran – Suit Against Curtimade Dairy Will Have Statewide Consequences [Ivanhoe Valley Voice] It was standing room only as supporters of Curtimade Dairy lined the walls of Corcoran City Council Chambers during last night’s city council meeting. Corcoran is currently suing the Curti family for $65 million dollars for damages incurred when their dairy allegedly contaminated the city’s water supply at the height of the drought in 2015. The Curtis have countered that their dairy has always been in compliance with all water regulations and permits and that the city wells have tested as having safe drinking water....

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Ag Today January 29, 2020

Trump signs trade deal with Canada and Mexico [New York Times] President Trump signed the revised North American Free Trade Agreement into law on Wednesday, fulfilling a key campaign promise and bringing more than two years of tumultuous negotiations over the continent’s trade rules to a close. The trade deal, now called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, updates the quarter-century-old NAFTA, with stronger protections for workers and the digital economy, expanded markets for American farmers and new rules to encourage auto manufacturing in North America….While his deals with China and other countries like Japan and South Korea are smaller than traditional trade...

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Ag Today January 28, 2020

Atmospheric rivers that hit California getting a boost from melting Arctic ice [San Francisco Chronicle] The fast-melting ice in the Arctic may be the primary cause of extreme weather across the globe, including some of the most violent, damaging storms to hit the Bay Area and California, a Scripps Institution of Oceanography study has found....The study provides evidence that the melting ice sets in motion a chain of events, including major disruptions in wind and weather patterns at the equator and in the central Pacific Ocean. That, in turn, can trigger El Niño weather events and the violent “atmospheric rivers” that...

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Ag Today January 27, 2020

Predator fish that anglers love faces uncertain future in California water wars [Sacramento Bee] In California’s never-ending water and fish wars, the striped bass doesn’t get nearly the publicity as its celebrity counterparts, the endangered Chinook salmon and Delta smelt….Next month, the five-member California Fish and Game Commission could decide to remove a decades-old state policy that sought to dramatically increase the numbers of striped bass to benefit the fishing industry. The vote comes after years of lobbying from farming groups and urban water associations that have sought to reduce the numbers of hungry striped bass to benefit salmon and smelt….Anglers...

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