Ag Today January 7, 2019
As trade talks begin, Trump sees China’s economic weakness as U.S. strength [New York Times]
President Trump is cheerleading his way past the economic warning signs that have rattled financial markets and unnerved economists, insisting that the United States has an advantage in a crucial first round of trade negotiations beginning on Monday in Beijing….Chinese officials appear set to offer a mix of concessions, including reducing some tariffs on American goods, as they try to defuse trade tensions ahead of a March 2 deadline, when tariffs on $200 billion worth of imports will increase to 25 percent from 10 percent.…Top administration...
Ag Today January 4, 2019
Will Gavin Newsom change the state’s water course? Fish and farmers will soon find out [Los Angeles Times]
…Despite a flurry of activity, Brown is leaving plenty of unfinished water business as he heads to his ranch in the Sacramento Valley….Newsom has previously said he favors a scaled-down tunnel project. Whether he reappoints state water board chair Felicia Marcus will signal whether he wants the board to stand firm or back down on the flow requirements. His picks for top posts in the Natural Resources Agency will determine whether his administration goes along with a potential weakening of delta protections by...
January 3, 2018
Government shutdown closes county's federal offices, national parks [Bakersfield Californian]
Some Kern County workers have not escaped the clutches of the ongoing federal government shutdown. Several agencies and organizations currently are closed due to the shutdown, which began on Dec. 22, with some federal employees on furlough until funding is restored….The California Farm Bureau Federation, a trade group that lobbies for government policies that benefit farmers and ranchers, said local offices of the U.S. Department of Agriculture on California Avenue also are closed….Besides the USDA offices, the Bakersfield field office of the Bureau of Land Management also is closed.
Exclusive: Key U.S....
Ag Today January 2, 2019
Farm workers in California now eligible for overtime [KSBY-TV, San Luis Obispo]
Starting January 1st, farm workers in California are now eligible to receive overtime pay after 9.5 hours of work. While many advocacy groups say this is long overdue, some in the agricultural community caution this could cause a rise in the costs of fruits and vegetables at the grocery store….C.A.U.S.E. or the Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy, argues this bill will help attract more work workers to the fields – something California farmers have been struggling with. Some in the ag industry see it differently.
Ag Today December 31, 2018
Trade wars cost U.S., China billions of dollars each in 2018 [Reuters]
The U.S.-China trade war resulted in billions of dollars of losses for both sides in 2018, hitting industries including autos, technology - and above all, agriculture. Broad pain from trade tariffs outlined by several economists shows that, while specialized industries including U.S. soybean crushing benefited from the dispute, it had an overall detrimental impact on both of the world’s two largest economies. The losses may give U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, motivation to resolve their trade differences before a March 2 deadline, although talks...
Ag Today December 28, 2018
Demanding wall money, Trump threatens to close Mexico border [Reuters]
President Donald Trump threatened on Friday to close the U.S. southern border if Congress does not agree to provide $5 billion in taxpayer funds for his border wall, widening a dispute that has already closed portions of the federal government. With “non-essential” operations at numerous agencies shut down for lack of funding and Congress adjourned until next week, Trump was in the White House firing off angry tweets….“Either we build (finish) the Wall or we close the Border,” he added.
From California budget to water, Brown leaves lasting mark [Associated Press]
Ag Today December 27, 2018
The president’s distrust of expert studies and advice has put farm workers at risk in Kern County, Calif., where a pesticide the Obama administration moved to ban is still in widespread use. [New York Times]
…Had Donald J. Trump not won the presidency in 2016, millions of pounds of chlorpyrifos most likely would not have been applied to American crops over the past 21 months….The administration’s choice not to curb the use of chlorpyrifos is a case study in how ideological and special-interest considerations outweighed decades of evidence about the potential harm associated with its use. The effects of such large-scale...
Ag Today December 26, 2018
Trump calls for more logging on federal lands to fight wildfires [Sacramento Bee]
…President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Friday that calls for expanding logging on millions of acres of federal forest lands as part of a plan to reduce wildfire risks….Trump’s order calls for easing regulatory burdens that would allow for the harvest of least 3.8 billion board feet of timber from lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service and another 600 million board feet of timber on Bureau of Land Management property….Boggs said environmentalists will certainly sue if Trump tries to ramp up logging.
Private woodlands lost to...
Ag Today December 21, 2018
$867 billion farm bill signed into law by Trump 'a home run' for California ag [Visalia Times-Delta]
President Trump signed an $867 billion farm bill into law on Thursday afternoon after months of heated debate and negotiation among Congress members who fought over whether the comprehensive legislation should mandate stricter work requirements for SNAP recipients and the legalization of industrial hemp farming….The California Farm Bureau agreed that the bill is "overall a good package for California producers." They pointed to reforms that make it easier for California growers to participate in crop insurance that would cover the kinds of specialty crops...
Ag Today December 20, 2018
Trump administration wants huge limits on food stamps — even though Congress said no [McClatchy News Service]
A lot more people could have to meet work requirements for food aid under a Trump administration plan unveiled early Thursday, even as the president later in the day is expected to sign legislation that’s supposed to keep the current food aid eligibility system largely in place. The proposed administration limits will have a significant impact in California, where in the application period lasting from September to August 2019 55 of 58 counties qualified for federal exemptions from work rules….Under the new administration proposal,...