Ag Today September 10, 2019
House Democrats will decide the fate of Trump’s North American trade deal as Congress returns [CNBC]
House Democrats will control the fate of one of President Donald Trump’s top priorities as they return to Washington this week. The president has pushed for swift approval of his replacement for the North American Free Trade Agreement, a top economic and political priority ahead of the 2020 election. Democrats have shown little urgency in moving to ratify the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement as signed by the three countries last year….The next few months could prove pivotal for Trump’s trade agenda, one of the planks...
Ag Today September 9, 2019
Water interests are fighting California’s bid to block Trump’s environmental rollbacks [Los Angeles Times]
…Written by one of the most powerful politicians in Sacramento, state Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins (D-San Diego), Senate Bill 1 has strong support from some of California’s most influential environmental and labor organizations, including some that helped get Gov. Gavin Newsom elected. But several of California’s water suppliers and agricultural interests, which also flex ample political muscle, oppose the measure….The water agencies fear the state would cement into law endangered species protections and pumping restrictions that would add to uncertainties about pumping water from the...
Ag Today September 6, 2019
Four amicus briefs filed in case appeal of bellwether Roundup trial; Farmers question - 'what is the law?' [Northern California Record]
Four amicus briefs have been filed in the California Court of Appeals in the case of Dewayne Johnson v. Monsanto raising "concerns about the methods used to determine medical causation and the award of punitive damages in the Johnson case, as well as the reliance of businesses and consumers on regulatory approvals,” said a media representative for Bayer….Both the California Farm Bureau Federation (CFBF), the largest farm organization in the state, and the Civil Justice Association of California (CJAC) filed...
Ag Today Septmeber 5, 2019
US farmers hope Trump delivers on trade deal with Japan [Associated Press]
American farmers have not only endured retaliatory tariffs from China and other nations, they’ve watched as most of their top foreign competitors used free trade agreements to make inroads into Japan, a historically protectionist market with nearly 127 million consumers. Now they’re wondering if the coming U.S.-Japan trade deal that President Donald Trump is showcasing will be as strong for farmers as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which was negotiated under President Barack Obama and ditched by Trump as soon as he took office….The president, in need of some wins on...
Ag Today September 4, 2019
Dog deaths raise algal bloom alarm as states report more toxins [Bloomberg Environment]
A high-profile series of dog deaths has awakened the public to the growing problem of toxic algal blooms, spurred by rising temperatures and pollution. The blooms are emerging as a national, not just regional, concern, according to preliminary data reported to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency through July….While some states have closely monitored and tracked toxins for years, others are just beginning to build out more robust responses. California is on the more passive side of the spectrum. California’s rivers, lakes, ponds, creeks, and other watersheds are prone...
Ag Today September 3, 2019
The U.S. wants to adopt a Cap-and-Trade plan for water that isn’t working [Wall Street Journal]
…Water crises are unfolding across the world as surging populations, industrial-scale farming and hotter temperatures deplete supplies. Australia thought it had the answer: a cap-and-trade system that would create incentives to use water efficiently and effectively in the world’s driest inhabited continent. But the architects of water trading didn’t anticipate that treating water as a commodity would encourage theft and hoarding….Australia’s experience is a warning to the U.S., where western states including California, Nevada and Arizona are looking at Australian-style water-trading plans to apply more...
Ag Today August 30, 2019
U.S. companies say trade war is hitting China operations [Wall Street Journal]
More U.S. businesses and farmers say they are suffering amid the prolonged U.S.-China trade war, as they brace for the fallout from a new round of tariffs set to take effect Sunday. The latest U.S. tariffs—taxes on Chinese goods coming into the country—will hit a range of consumer-goods categories for the first time, raising costs for retailers and consumers. Best Buy Co. , for example, was among the latest to warn of the impact the tariffs and trade tensions will have on its business of retailing imported electronics. Its...
Ag Today August 29, 2019
California’s fire insurance market reaches a crisis [Los Angeles Times]
Steve Nielsen would not normally have considered himself a resident of California’s wildfire zone. But that ended in October 2017, when a fire swept through Coffey Park, his suburban Santa Rosa neighborhood, destroying his home and those of about 1,200 neighbors. Since then, Nielsen, 54, has been struggling to rebuild while dealing with one of the most troublesome nemeses confronting state residents across the state: the fire insurance industry. Nielsen says his insurer, State Farm, canceled his homeowners policy last spring, on the grounds that there was “no longer a residence...
Ag Today August 28, 2019
Import limits, effects of swine fever hit pork prices in China [Wall Street Journal]
Pork prices in China have surged to new highs in the past two weeks, adding pressure on a government trying to contain food-price inflation during the trade war with the U.S. Prices of the mainstay—used in dishes such as lunchtime dumplings and spicy mapo tofu—have risen 18% in China since the week ended Aug. 9 and are up more than 50% in the past year. The average price of pork, excluding offal, in the week ended Aug. 23 was 31.77 yuan a kilogram ($2.02 a pound), according...
Ag Today August 27, 2019
E-Verify is intended to detect workers without legal status. How do immigrants get around it? [Los Angeles Times]
...The operation exposed the poultry industry’s widespread use of unauthorized workers despite the federal system known as E-Verify, which was unveiled more than a decade ago to ensure potential hires could work legally in the United States....And even when employers utilize the system, it has a major weakness well known to those who work in the chicken factories: It does not detect when a job applicant is using somebody else’s identity....Some workers without legal status borrow the identities of friends. Others pay for...