Ag Today

AG Today

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Ag Today September 27, 2019

Farming the sun:’ As water goes scarce, can solar farms prop up the Valley? [Sacramento Bee] On the Changala family farm in Tulare County, the past and future are separated by a dirt road and a barbed-wire fence. “We’re still farming the sun,” he said. Farmers in the San Joaquin Valley are finding a lucrative new cash crop: solar electricity. As they struggle to cope with the Valley’s chronic water shortages, they’ve increasing turned to solar as a means of supplementing their revenue and keeping the remainder of their farming operations afloat. An estimated 13,000 acres of Valley farmland already have...

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Ag Today September 26, 2019

Trump announces a trade pact with Japan [New York Times] The United States and Japan signed a limited trade deal on Wednesday that will open Japanese markets to American farm goods and secure a win for an administration that has struggled to complete trade pacts with China, Canada, Mexico and other countries. The deal, announced as President Trump met with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan on the sidelines of a meeting of world leaders in New York, will reduce Japanese barriers to American beef, pork, wheat, cheese, almonds, wine and other products, while cutting American tariffs on Japanese turbines, machine...

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Ag Today September 25, 2019

California farmers face ‘catastrophic’ water restrictions. Can they adapt to survive? [McClatchy News Service] …Starting next January, the law will require farmers to gradually rein in the amount of groundwater they can pump from their wells. It could devastate the economy of the entire San Joaquin Valley….Farmers will have to start throttling back their pumps, dramatically altering how they cultivate one of the world’s most fertile valleys. Some land probably won’t survive as farms at all. https://www.sacbee.com/news/california/big-valley/article233596597.html   California boosts efforts to eradicate invasive swamp rats [Associated Press] One of the most recent threats to California’s environment has webbed feet, white whiskers, shaggy fur and...

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Ag Today September 24, 2019

Trump's plan to cut aid to Central America could push more migrants to come to US [USA TODAY] The Trump administration has said Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras will receive aid in the future only if they take “concrete actions” to reduce immigration. But experts say freezing international aid may increase the number of immigrants heading to the United States. President Donald Trump’s threats over foreign aid for Central America made headlines in October 2018, as a migrant caravan approached the U.S.-Mexico border and his Republican Party was facing dire predictions in the midterm elections. The threats were repeated when a...

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Ag Today September 23, 2019

Chemical exposures in California’s vast cropland spark fear for growers and workers [Fresno Bee] …Solorio, who now works a construction job, was among dozens of workers at a Tulare County vineyard on June 18 who were exposed to a chemical used in pesticides. The chemical was sprayed at a nearby peach orchard owned by Peters Fruit Farms….No penalties have been issued and the investigation now is in the hands of the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office….But the large-scale exposure, followed by another in Fresno County a week later, alarmed the farm community and opened old divisions over pesticide use and worker...

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Ag Today September 18, 2019

Trump says China is buying U.S. farm products [Wall Street Journal] President Trump said China has started to buy U.S. agricultural products, and signaled optimism that his administration will be able to sign a trade deal with China before the 2020 presidential election. Speaking to reporters on Air Force One en route to Mountain View, Calif., Mr. Trump said on Tuesday that a deal with China will “be the greatest deal ever made,” adding, “and China knows that.” Chinese negotiators were making plans to boost purchases of U.S. agricultural products, give U.S. companies greater access to China’s market and bolster intellectual-property...

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Ag Today September 17, 2019

A fight with Trump that Gavin Newsom doesn’t want: Why he’s vetoing environmental bill [Sacramento Bee] Gov. Gavin Newsom took considerable political heat over the weekend from a pair of unlikely sources — the environmental community and Democratic lawmakers. Both were angered over his pledge Saturday to veto Senate Bill 1, a proposal that they say would have protected California’s waterways and fish against the Trump administration….Yet Newsom saw SB 1 as a mortal threat to something he’s been supporting since shortly before he took office: a tentative truce in California’s longstanding water wars. The truce revolves around the flow of...

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Ag Today September 16, 2019

Gavin Newsom says he’ll veto Trump-defying California environmental bill [Sacramento Bee] Gov. Gavin Newsom on Saturday declined to pick a fight with the Trump administration, announcing he’d veto a bill that would have preserved Obama-era environmental policies and negated the Republican’s regulations. Newsom announced his opposition to Senate Bill 1 several hours after California lawmakers approved it early Saturday morning, closing a week in which the Trump administration rolled back a 2015 water pollution regulation that aimed to protect wetlands….But ultimately the bill went too far for some top California Democrats, notably Newsom and U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Powerful farm and...

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Ag Today September 13, 2019

Businesses escalate push for trade pact with Canada, Mexico [Wall Street Journal] U.S. business groups are ramping up efforts to win passage of the Trump administration’s trade agreement with Canada and Mexico, even as House Democrats and other critics say the deal needs revisions before a vote. Dozens of farmers and other supporters rallied Thursday on the National Mall to advocate passage of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA. That followed scores of events across the country last month aimed at showing support to lawmakers in their home districts during the congressional recess….Businesses and farmers hope a revised and ratified trade pact...

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Ag Today, September 13, 2019

Trump administration to finalize rollback of clean water Protections [New York Times] The Trump administration on Thursday is expected to complete the legal repeal of a major Obama-era clean water regulation, which had placed limits on polluting chemicals that could be used near streams, wetlands and water bodies. The rollback of the 2015 measure, known as the Waters of the United States rule, has been widely expected since the early days of the Trump administration, when President Trump signed an executive order directing federal agencies to begin the work of repealing and replacing it….Environmentalists assailed the move….But agricultural groups, an important...

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