Ag Today December 4, 2019
Trump jump-starts repairs for sinking California canal. But who will pay? [Sacramento Bee]
The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation said Tuesday it will begin studying the environmental impact of fixing a 33-mile stretch of the Friant-Kern Canal — a critical water artery on the Valley’s east side….Yet despite the support from the federal government to fix the Friant-Kern Canal, a key question remains: Who’s going to step up and pay?...In 2018, California voters defeated Proposition 3, which would have raised $350 million for repairs. It was the first time a water bond failed in California in almost 30 years. After the failure,...
Ag Today December 3, 2019
Conservation groups sue feds over California water project opinions [Courthouse News Service]
Several fishing and conservation organizations brought a federal complaint Monday over the harm they expect to befall an already threatened species of fish from the Trump administration’s efforts to set new rules for the operation of major California water projects. Led by the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations, the groups claim that the government’s biological assessments of the Central Valley Project and State Water Project were politically motivated and failed to consider proper environmental protection standards....The suit claims that implementation of the opinions on these projects, which were...
Ag Today December 2, 2019
Trump to tariff steel and aluminum from Argentina and Brazil [Associated Press]
President Donald Trump on Monday accused Argentina and Brazil of hurting American farmers through currency manipulation and said he’ll slap tariffs on their steel and aluminum imports to retaliate….Both South American nations were among a group of U.S. allies that Trump had exempted from steel and aluminum tariffs in March 2018….Both South American countries have benefited from the U.S. trade war with China. Argentina and Brazil have taken advantage of Chinese import taxes on U.S. farm products to export more agricultural goods to China.
SLO Co. Farm Bureau hosting meeting...
Ag Today November 27, 2019
State to donate 280 livestock pens for evacuations [Marysville Appeal-Democrat]
When an emergency occurs, like a wildfire, residents are forced to pick up and leave within a moment’s notice. For those with livestock, it can be extremely difficult to find somewhere to house and care for the animals. Two groups, the California Department of Food and Agriculture and California Farm Bureau Federation, announced this week that they would be donating a total of 280 livestock pens to fairgrounds around the state to help house sheep, goats and swine during emergency evacuations or fair events. The announcement was made during a ribbon...
Ag Today November 26, 2019
Local produce companies frustrated amid romaine lettuce e-coli outbreak [KSBW TV, Monterey-Salinas]
Salinas produce growers are upset because they say even when they have scientific validation their products are clean and there is no cross contamination, they still have to stop shipments. They said they want the FDA to focus on the investigation and the cause and not on shutting down the Salinas romaine lettuce industry, especially right before Thanksgiving….Frustration is mounting as local growers and shippers say the recent e-coli outbreak on Salinas grown romaine lettuce calls for everyone in the produce industry to step up their game.
Opinion: Our food...
Ag Today November 25, 2019
Regulators want to light up nighttime ag work in California [Bakersfield Californian]
State regulators are weighing new rules for making nighttime agricultural work — a risky activity with relatively few labor protections as compared with other industries — safer for those who perform it. Measures being proposed by California's Department of Industrial Relations include requiring employers to provide front- and rear-facing tractor lamps as well as work-area lighting and force farmworkers to wear high-visibility safety vests. While state law mandates lighting and reflective vests for construction workers performing roadwork, there are currently no illumination requirements specific to night work in agriculture,...
Ag Today November 22, 2019
Newsom administration sends mixed signals on delta endangered species protections [Los Angeles Times]
California officials sent mixed signals Thursday when they said they will sue to block a Trump administration rollback of endangered species protections for imperiled fish — while also proposing new water operations that mimic parts of the Trump plan. The state moves reflect the political pressure the Newsom administration has been under as it confronts one of California’s most intractable environmental conflicts — the battle over the ailing Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, the center of the state’s water system....Thursday’s announcements appeared to give something to both sets of interests:...
Ag Today November 21, 2019
Farmworker bill gains favor with House committee but Republican concerns remain [Yakima Herald-Republic]
The House Judiciary Committee voiced support for an immigration bill that aims to solve critical agricultural workforce issues despite several Republican concerns during a markup that lasted several hours Wednesday. The decision to advance the bill, called the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, will be official after a recorded vote scheduled for Thursday morning….The bill is the product of several months of negotiations between a group of several House members, including Rep. Dan Newhouse, a Republican who represents Central Washington, agricultural employers and farmworker advocates. The negotiation aimed to...
Ag Today November 20, 2019
Stalled U.S.-China trade talks raise threat of another impasse [Wall Street Journal]
Trade talks between the U.S. and China are in danger of hitting an impasse, threatening to derail the Trump administration’s plan for a limited “phase-one” pact this year, according to former administration officials and others following the talks. Both sides remain divided over core issues—including Beijing’s demand for removing tariffs and the U.S.’s insistence on China buying farm products—nearly six weeks after an “agreement in principle” was announced by the White House on Oct. 11.
Steps to reduce the risk of wildfires in California [Wall Street Journal]
California’s devastating 2019 wildfires...
Ag Today November 19, 2019
Is rain done in 2019? Is California in a drought? What to know as weather stays dry [Sacramento Bee]
It’s been warmer than normal. It’s been drier than normal….What does all of this mean for the near future, in a state less than three years removed from the official end of its last drought?...Outside the midweek Sierra showers, there’s currently no rain in the forecast for at least a week, and perhaps longer, across Northern California. Long-range precipitation forecast models released by the NWS Climate Prediction Center for the week of Nov. 25 to Dec. 1 suggest a slightly better chance...