Ag Today

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Ag Today May 6, 2019

China trade team still plans on U.S. talks as Trump vows to raise tariffs [Reuters] China said on Monday that a delegation was still preparing to go to the United States for trade talks, even as U.S. President Donald Trump dramatically increased pressure on Beijing to reach a deal, saying he would hike tariffs on Chinese goods this week. Trump’s comments on Sunday marked a major escalation in tensions between the world’s two largest economies, and a shift in tone from the president, who as recently as Friday had cited progress toward a deal....A less-than-rosy update from U.S. Trade Representative Robert...

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Ag Today May 3, 2019

Newsom officially kills Jerry Brown’s Delta twin tunnels project [Bay Area News Group] Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday drove the final nail into the coffin of the most controversial water project in California in more than 30 years: Gov. Jerry Brown’s $19 billion plan to build two massive tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to make it easier to move water from the north to the south. The Newsom administration announced it is withdrawing permit applications that the Brown administration had submitted to the State Water Resources Control Board, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and several federal agencies. Instead,...

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Ag Today May 2, 2019

California farms are suffering from a labor shortage. Here's why [Fox Business] California farms are suffering from a labor shortage due to the lack of a comprehensive immigration policy, and are increasingly turning to machines and technology to cope with the lack of employees, according to a new study. According to the California Farm Bureau Federation (CFBF), more than 50 percent of farmers in California said they have been unable to find the necessary workers required to produce their main crop over the past five years....“What’s interesting in this survey is that decisions are being made on the farms that will...

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Ag Today May 1, 2019

Why California farmers are having increasingly harder time finding workers [Bakersfield Californian] California’s farm labor shortage is getting tougher, according to results of a new survey that says the situation worsened this year for most farmers struggling to find enough workers. The California Farm Bureau Federation reported 56 percent of 1,071 farmers surveyed across the state indicated they could not hire enough help, up from 55 percent last year....Farm Bureau President Jamie Johansson emphasized farmers have tried to adjust by raising wages, altering their farming practices, using the H-2A foreign worker visa program and introducing automation where appropriate. https://www.bakersfield.com/news/why-california-farmers-are-having-increasingly-harder-time-finding-workers/article_eddf41b4-6b77-11e9-b86d-cf045f762a9e.html   Hydropower bill would sabotage...

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Ag Today April 30, 2019

Few details in Newsom’s water policy directive [Los Angeles Times] Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday ordered key state agencies to develop a blueprint for meeting California’s 21st-century water needs in the face of climate change. The executive order includes few details and doesn’t appear to set a dramatic new water course for the state. Rather, it reaffirms Newsom’s intentions to downsize the controversial twin tunnels project in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, use voluntary agreements to meet new river flow requirements and provide clean drinking water to impoverished communities. https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-newsom-executive-order-water-policy-20190429-story.html   Despite abundant snowpack, water still limited for some farmers [KSEE TV, Fresno] It’s an exceptional...

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Ag Today April 29, 2019

Trump looks for end to Japan farm tariffs ahead of two visits [Bloomberg] President Donald Trump urged Japan to end tariffs on U.S. farm products when he met Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who appears to have deflected the most damaging U.S. demands on trade weeks before the pair are likely to meet again during two upcoming Trump visits. Trump pushed for the end of the Japanese agricultural levy, while not directly mentioning past threats of sanctions on automobiles....“We’ll be discussing very strongly agriculture because as the prime minister knows Japan puts very massive tariffs on agriculture, our agriculture, for many years,...

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Ag Today April 26, 2019

Trump's withdrawal from TPP trade deal is hurting U.S. exports to Japan [Los Angeles Times] One of Donald Trump’s first acts as president was to pull the United States out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the 12-nation free-trade deal that President Obama negotiated but left unfinished….Now the White House is scrambling to undo the damage of Trump’s swift withdrawal from what would have been the world’s largest regional trade agreement. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrives Friday in Washington to meet with Trump….Japan is now starting to import substantially more from its free-trade partners, at America’s expense. That’s bad for U.S. farmers...

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Ag Today April 25, 2019

Perdue trying to help farms get foreign workers in Kushner immigration effort [McClatchy News Service] Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue is wading into legal immigration efforts led by Jared Kushner by dispatching a former farm lobbyist to work with the agribusiness community on how to meet their need for foreign workers without compromising the ideals of the administration….Perdue has sent one of his senior aides, Kristi Boswell, a former lobbyist with the American Farm Bureau Federation, to work with Kushner’s immigration team. Earlier this month, Boswell encouraged California Farm Bureau Federation officials advocating on Capitol Hill and at the White House to...

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Ag Today April 23, 2019

Gov. Gavin Newsom hits back at Trump in new fight over who controls California water [Sacramento Bee] Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration is taking unprecedented steps to combat President Donald Trump’s efforts to ship more water to his agricultural allies in the San Joaquin Valley. Saying Trump’s water plans are scientifically indefensible and would violate the state’s Endangered Species Act, the state Department of Water Resources on Friday began drawing up new regulations governing how water is pumped from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to the southern half of the state....The state traditionally defers to the federal government on environmental rules in the...

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Ag Today April 22, 2019

As California’s delta smelt spirals toward extinction, a future in captivity awaits [Los Angeles Times] Despite a decades-long rescue effort, the tiny delta smelt appears closer than ever to vanishing from its only natural home, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta….Efforts to preserve the smelt have relied on restricting delta water operations supplying the San Joaquin Valley and Southern California — regulations that have vexed agricultural interests and water districts, and placed the fish squarely in the center of California’s water wars….Biologists who track the delta smelt report that its numbers have declined more than 90% over the last five decades. https://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-threatened-delta-smelt-aquarium-exhibit-20190422-story.html   Interior’s Bernhardt worked...

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