Ag Today

AG Today

Updated Daily

Ag Today August 6, 2021

Massive fire wipes out much of California town, leaving broken hearts, broken dreams [Los Angeles Times] Greenville, nestled in dense forests southeast of Lake Almanor, was decimated when the massive Dixie fire swept through three weeks after it ignited near a Pacific Gas & Electric Co. power station in Feather River Canyon. the town was a smoking ruin, its sign melted so that the lettering crackled like glaze. Entire blocks were razed. Flames still flickered where they could find perches on something left to burn. Hulls of cars lined the street, reduced to charred tanks and melted wheels. The U.S. Postal...

Read More

Ag Today August 5, 2021

Dixie fire destroys large swath of Greenville: ‘It sounds like a war zone’ [Los Angeles Times] Powerful winds and dry conditions caused fires in Northern California to explode Wednesday, with the massive Dixie fire sweeping into the town of Greenville and destroying swaths of the downtown area. Another day of winds is on tap for the region Thursday, with the National Weather Service issuing a red flag warning for the mountain areas of northeast California. Crews are still assessing the damage, but it’s believed three out of four of the town’s structures were consumed by the blaze, fire spokeswoman Serena Baker...

Read More

Ag Today August 4, 2021

As drought worsens, regulators impose unprecedented water restrictions on California farms [Los Angeles Times] Amid intensifying drought, state water regulators voted Tuesday to enact a drastic emergency order that will bar thousands of Californians — primarily farmers — from using stream and river water. California’s complex water rights system is designed to allocate water use during times of shortage and such curtailments, while rare, are not unheard of. But the scope of Tuesday’s order — which will apply to thousands of senior water rights across a wide swath of the state — is unprecedented, officials said. About 5,700 Northern California and...

Read More

Ag Today August 3rd 2021

State cuts off hundreds of Russian River growers, ranchers and others in drastic bid to save water [The Press-Democrat] A day long dreaded by hundreds of ranchers, grape growers, farmers, water providers and towns arrived Monday as the state ordered them to stop diverting water from the Russian River watershed or be fined $1,000 a day. State regulators issued orders effective Tuesday prohibiting about 1,500 water rights holders in the upper river — including the cities of Cloverdale and Healdsburg — from diverting water in an effort to preserve rapidly diminishing supplies in Lake Mendocino. The State Water Resources Control Board...

Read More

Ag Today, August 2nd 2021

Modesto area’s congressman seeks $2.5 billion to help farmers combat climate change [Modesto Bee] Agriculture would get about $2.5 billion over five years for efforts against climate change under a bill from Rep. Josh Harder, D-Turlock. The money would help farmers take steps such as capturing carbon in trees and soil, switching to low-emission tractors and turning cattle manure into energy. The bill would direct $25 million to projects that convert tree nut shells and related waste into fuel through a process known as pyrolysis. Harder first proposed the bill in August 2020 as House Resolution 7482, but it did not...

Read More

Ag Today July 30, 2021

California Wine Country Rebuilds as Threats Persist [New York Times] ...Not all of the damage of the 2020 fires in the northern Napa Valley and the adjacent Sonoma County is so visible and obvious. The consequences for vineyards that survived direct encounters with the fires remain to be determined, as wine producers affected by the blazes try to navigate the 2021 growing season, not exactly sure what they are confronting. Wineries can be rebuilt, interim facilities found, new vintages made, though the financial cost is steep. But for a winery to lose its vines — sometimes entire vineyards — is to...

Read More

Ag Today July 29, 2021

‘Liquidation of cows.’ How the drought creates chaos on California ranches, dairy farms [Sacramento Bee] Jennifer Beretta has been working as a dairy farmer since she was 6 and knows some of her family’s 700 cows by name. One of her favorites, a Jersey named Harmony, has won top prizes at the Sonoma County Fair. “I raised them from when they were babies,” said Beretta, 33. “I watched them grow up to be milk cows. You get attached to them. They have personalities.” But business is business, and right now business is bad. California’s devastating drought has dried up most of...

Read More

Ag Today July 28, 2021

Will Delta water users sue — again — to stop California’s drought rules? [CalMatters] Drought-plagued California is poised to bar thousands of farmers, landowners and others from pumping water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta watershed, a move that irrigation districts said exceeds the water board’s authority. The emergency rules would be the first time state regulators have taken such wide-reaching action during a drought to prevent diversions from the massive Delta watershed stretching from Fresno to the Oregon border. At a more than three-hour workshop today to discuss the proposal, State Water Resources Control Board officials said the status of the...

Read More

Ag Today July 27, 2021

California wineries, farms to get access to last-resort fire insurance as Gov. Newsom signs SB 11 [North Bay Business Journal] With wildfire losses in the state soaring, and insurance company rates following suit, a governor’s signature on a bill is leaving some winery owners eyeing a bit of relief. The Napa County Farm Bureau, one of the supporters of the legislation, reports that Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday signed Senate Bill 11, giving owners of wine and other agricultural properties a way to gain coverage through the state’s high risk insurance plan called the California FAIR plan, the state’s insurer of...

Read More

Ag Today July 26, 2021

California moves to cut off water to thousands of farmers, as drought dries up rivers [Sacramento Bee] Forced to reckon with a worsening drought, California’s water regulators are preparing to forbid thousands of farmers from tapping into the state’s major rivers and streams. It’s an extraordinary step — and one that regulators didn’t take during the last drought, which was considered one of the worst on record. The State Water Resources Control Board on Friday released an “emergency curtailment” order that would cut thousands off from rivers and streams in the Sacramento and San Joaquin river watersheds. The five-person board still...

Read More