Ag Today

AG Today

Updated Daily

Ag Today July 23, 2021

Drought forces North America farmers to turn food crops to hay [Bloomberg News] Drought is withering crops on both sides of the U.S.-Canadian border, prompting farmers to take the rare measure of baling up their wheat and barley stems to sell as hay. The bales are providing much-needed forage for livestock operators struggling against a lack of pasture and soaring feed costs, and also signal smaller grain harvests that could keep crop prices high in the months to come. Temperatures are expected to soar next week in the Great Plains, further threatening parched farm fields....Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada reduced its principal...

Read More

Ag Today July 22, 2021

As drought slams California and Oregon, Klamath farmers grow fish to quell a water war [Los Angeles Times] …But water spews from the hot springs on Ron Barnes’ land near the California-Oregon border, pure and perfect for rearing c’waam and koptu, two kinds of endangered suckerfish sacred to Native American tribes....“We’re doing our damnedest to keep cooler heads here, to let cooler heads prevail,” said Scott Seus, a family farmer who relies on water from the lake. “There’s a sense of desperation right now, and not many people who want to listen.” Federal scientists and wildlife officials have asserted that maintaining...

Read More

Ag Today July 21, 2021

California voters OK’d billions for water projects. Where are the new dams, reservoirs? [Sacramento Bee] It doesn’t look like much now, a dry and dusty valley surrounded by the modest mountains of California’s Coast Range. These barren, brown hills an hour northwest of Sacramento will be the future home of Sites Reservoir, one of the few major water projects to be built in California since the 1970s. California taxpayers are helping pay for Sites, which would hold more water than Folsom Lake, through a $7.1 billion bond they approved during the 2014 election....“If Sites were open today, we’d have nearly 1...

Read More

Ag Today July 20, 2021

Thieves are stealing California’s scarce water. Where’s it going? Illegal marijuana farms [CalMatters] One day last spring, water pressure in pipelines suddenly crashed In the Antelope Valley, setting off alarms. Demand had inexplicably spiked, swelling to three and half times normal. Water mains broke open, and storage tanks were drawn down to dangerous levels. The emergency was so dire in the water-stressed desert area of Hi Vista, between Los Angeles and Mojave, that county health officials considered ordering residents to boil their tap water before drinking it. “We said, ‘Holy cow, what’s happening?’” said Anish Saraiya, public works deputy for Los...

Read More

Ag Today July 19, 2021

Megadrought Poses ‘Existential’ Crisis in California and the West [CBS, San Francisco] The American West was once seen as a place of endless possibilities: grand vistas, bountiful resources and cities that somehow grew out of deserts. Now, manifest destiny has become a manifest emergency. A scorching drought made worse by climate change is draining reservoirs at an alarming pace, fueling massive wildfires and deadly heat waves and withering one of the most important agricultural economies in the country. “I’m really concerned, I’m really worried,” said Joe Del Bosque, who has been growing melons and other crops in California’s Central Valley since...

Read More

Ag Today July 16, 2021

The current drought is worldwide. Here’s how different places are fighting it [Los Angeles Times] ...In the U.S., nearly half the mainland is currently afflicted, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. The situation is especially dire in the Northwest, which is facing some of its driest conditions in over a century following a heat wave that killed hundreds of people....In Brazil, the current drought is one of the worst ever recorded. Coffee production is expected to fall 23% this year, and low reservoir levels mean the country can’t fully utilize its hydroelectric plants, driving up electricity bills....One water dispute...

Read More

Ag Today July 15, 2021

With drought worsening, should California have much tougher water restrictions? [Los Angeles Times] As Californians wonder when mandatory water restrictions might be coming, officials and experts including those who played roles in addressing the 2012-2016 drought say the pace and strategy of Newsom’s current response sufficiently incorporates insights gained from the past. … The governor’s approach, however, has also frustrated some scientists who consider his actions too little too late as record-high temperatures intensify the water shortage, particularly in northern and central parts of the state. ... Conditions already appear to be outpacing the previous drought: Scant winter rainfall led to...

Read More

Ag Today July 14, 2021

Northern California farmers bracing for drastic water restrictions [CBS 13, Sacramento] Farmers are facing a water shortage right as we head into peak growing season. It’s hitting their bottom line — and potentially yours. Solano County farmer Spencer Bei shows us one of the wells his family uses to farm 15,000 acres. He says he is losing pressure now as he is pumping because he is pulling more from the aquifer due to a lack of surface water and no rain in sight. He is one of many farmers feeling the heat after the State Water Resources Board sent out letters...

Read More

Ag Today July 13, 2021

Sky-High feed prices are pushing dairy farmersoOver the edge [Bloomberg News] Eric Vanstrom stuck by his dairy cows through a recession, a trade war and a global pandemic that forced him to dump milk into manure pits. This year, though, he’s finally had enough. The thing that’s putting him over the edge: exorbitant grain prices....Vanstrom’s predicament is an increasingly common one. The corn and soybeans that dairy cows eat are seeing a historic rally, fueled by drought in key producing countries and China’s massive purchases of grain to feed a rapidly expanding hog herd.  From the U.S. to Ethiopia, farmers say...

Read More

Ag Today July 12, 2021

Key players in California water confront drought, fish and more at Modesto summit [Modesto Bee] A key message emerged when California water leaders gathered in Modesto: Stop grumbling about drought, and get cracking on real fixes. Rep. Josh Harder, D-Turlock, convened the Thursday afternoon summit at the Stanislaus County Farm Bureau. Several speakers called for new reservoirs and groundwater recharge to hold wet-year surpluses for use in dry times like 2021....About 50 people gathered in the L Street conference room. They included Karen Ross, food and agricultural secretary for Gov. Gavin Newsom, and two members of a powerful state water board....Ross...

Read More