Ag Today May 21, 2019
They grow the nation’s food, but they can’t drink the water [New York Times]
Water is a currency in California, and the low-income farmworkers who pick the Central Valley’s crops know it better than anyone. They labor in the region’s endless orchards, made possible by sophisticated irrigation systems, but at home their faucets spew toxic water tainted by arsenic and fertilizer chemicals….Many factors have led to the groundwater contamination reflected in the state’s data, but public health experts say the region’s agriculture industry has played an outsize role….It is exceedingly difficult to say with certainty whether any illness is directly tied...
Ag Today May 20, 2019
Almond, walnut, rice farmers face problems with persistent rain [Chico Enterprise-Record]
...As the end of May nears, Butte County’s main agricultural drivers — almonds, walnuts and rice — will likely face some setbacks as more showers cause more precautions taken by farmers for the county’s multi-million dollar industry crops. “All this precipitation is causing major headaches for farmers here in Butte county,” said Colleen Cecil, executive director for Butte County’s Farm Bureau....Clark Becker is the owner and operator for CE Becker and Sons, a custom rice farming company in Gridley....“At this moment we don’t know when we can finish planting,” Becker...
Ag Today May 17, 2019
U.S. farmers, wanting a trade deal, brace for aid package some fear will fall short [Wall Street Journal]
Stalled trade talks between Beijing and Washington are exacerbating a slump in the U.S. Farm Belt, and many farmers don’t believe an aid package being assembled by the Trump administration will be enough to compensate for the economic damage. Agriculture has been among the U.S. economic sectors hit hardest by the yearlong trade conflict with China. Now that a deal has slipped from the grasp of negotiators, farmers are facing the likelihood that the deepest downturn in the agricultural economy since the 1980s...
Ag Today May 16, 2019
After AG sues, Westlands Water District says it's studying whether to support Shasta Dam raise [Redding Record Searchlight]
Two days after being sued over its involvement in a proposal to raise the height of Shasta Dam, a San Joaquin Valley irrigation district said it is merely studying whether it wants to support the project. Citing violations of the state's Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, the California attorney general and several environmental groups sued this week to stop the Fresno-based Westlands Water District from participating in plans to raise the height of the dam. The two lawsuits against the district were filed...
Ag Today May 15, 2019
Trade battle looks set to roil container shipping [Wall Street Journal]
The escalating U.S.-China tariff tensions could curtail growth in trans-Pacific seaborne trade this year if no settlement is reached, and container ships that carry consumer goods likely will be directly affected. Jonathan Roach, a container analyst at London-based shipbroker Braemar ACM, expects demand growth in the sector to be reduced to around 2% this year from 4.5% in 2018, hitting the finances of carriers that are still trying to recover from a steep downturn. “The increase in tariffs from 10% to 25% on Chinese products to the U.S. could severely...
Ag Today May 14, 2019
In latest Roundup herbicide defeat for Bayer, jury awards California couple $2 billion [Wall Street Journal]
...The verdict by the Northern California jury is the third straight trial loss for Bayer over the safety of Roundup. Bayer is facing a revolt from shareholders over the Monsanto deal, which exposed Bayer to some 13,400 claims tying Roundup to cancer. Two previous trial losses have helped wipe more than 30% off Bayer’s share price. Last month, a majority of Bayer shareholders refused to endorse management’s actions in the past year, indicating that investors lack confidence in how the company is being run. The...
Ag Today May 13, 2019
How higher tariffs affect different industries [Wall Street Journal]
The increased tariffs enacted by the U.S. on products coming from China raise the costs for many American companies and threaten their future profits. On Friday, the U.S. raised import tariffs to 25% on $200 billion of Chinese goods, such as circuit boards, microprocessors, vehicle parts and machinery. President Trump also has warned about imposing 25% tariffs on $325 billion in Chinese goods that aren’t currently taxed. Such a move would cover virtually all Chinese exports to the U.S. and spread the pain to consumers. Consumers haven’t felt the brunt of the...
Ag Today May 10, 2019
Trump’s tariff hike on Chinese goods takes effect as the two sides keep talking [Los Angeles Times]
Sharply raising the stakes in the trade battle with China, the Trump administration moved ahead with plans to significantly hike tariffs on imports from that country — even as U.S. and Chinese negotiators continue to talk in Washington in hopes of reaching a deal. As of Friday, tariffs on $200 billion in products from China — including electronics, medical devices, seafood, clothing and handbags — will go up from the current 10% to 25%. The new tariff move was expected to be met with...
Ag Today May 9, 2019
China considers next volley in trade fight [Wall Street Journal]
A U.S. move to increase tariffs has China dusting off its options for retaliation, which include a reciprocal increase, piling on new tariffs and punishing individual American companies....By refraining from sharing details of its countermeasures before talks in Washington on Thursday, Beijing appeared to be keeping its options open. One likely move would be to raise tariffs on about $60 billion in imports of U.S. goods including farm products, machinery and chemicals.
Why San Joaquin farmers won't be changing crops despite a China trade war [KXTV, Sacramento]
Some of California’s top crops were...
Ag Today May 8, 2019
California to outlaw pesticide harmful to kids [Associated Press]
The nation’s most productive agricultural state will ban a widely used toxic pesticide blamed for harming brain development in babies, California officials said Wednesday. The move would outlaw chlorpyrifos (klohr-PY’-rih-fohs) after scientists deemed it a toxic air contaminant and discovered it to be more dangerous than previously thought. State Environmental Secretary Jared Blumenfeld said it’s the first time the state has sought to ban a pesticide and the move was overdue.
Finally, California and IID reach agreement on Salton Sea access and liability [Palm Springs Desert Sun]
The Imperial Irrigation District board of directors...