Ag Today June 18, 2018
California farmers, politicians won't feel full impact of Trump tariff wars until fall
BY EMILY CADEI
The Sacramento Bee - June 15, 2018 10:13 AM
David Phippen’s almond orchards in Manteca are a few months away from harvest, the nuts still green on the trees. That gives him some breathing room before China's tariffs on almonds — California's largest agricultural export — and other crops really bite.
It also buys Republicans in Washington some time to defuse President Trump's simmering trade feuds with not only China, the target of an updated round of U.S. tariffs on Friday, but also top export markets Europe, Mexico...
Ag Today June 15, 2018
Trump administration pushes changes to farmworker visa
BY EMILY CADEI June 15, 2018 12:01 AM, McClatchy DC
The Trump administration is moving ahead with an overhaul of the guest worker program that admits hundreds of thousands of temporary farm workers each year, easing access to agricultural labor even as even as its conservative allies push for a crackdown.
Changing the H-2A visa system for temporary farm workers has been a top priority for Central Valley growers and others around the country, who have been struggling with a severe labor shortage. A 2017 California Farm Bureau Federation survey reported that more than half of...
Ag Today June 14, 2018
Valley agriculture caught up in international trade fight
By Dale Yurong
Wednesday, June 13, 2018 06:43PM- ABC30
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Canada's foreign minister said on Wednesday the country would retaliate with a "dollar for dollar" tariff in response to the 25% tariff on imported steel imposed by President Trump.
Valley agriculture is caught right in the middle of this trade dispute involving allies such as Mexico, Canada, and the European Union. New tariffs would take effect in July.
When it comes to California ag exports, Canada is the second significant buyer behind the EU. A 10% tariff or added tax on ketchup and tomato...
Ag Today June 13, 2018
Farm Robots Need to Be Trusted to Tell Crops From Weeds
By Ayanna Alexander, Bloomberg, June 13, 208
Robots will move along fields either spraying herbicides through a pen-like nozzle or pulling weeds as soon as 2019 after their makers perfect programming them to distinguish weeds from crops like tomatoes.
Farmers appear to be warming to the idea, as challenges recruiting field workers are leading them to seek alternatives.
Still, robot manufacturers acknowledge that they have to ensure their creations are discerning and won’t overspray or accidentally destroy crops with herbicides. They also must promote trust among potential customers who may be wary about...
Ag Today, June 12, 2018
Ventura County farmers celebrate the launch of California's first water monitoring program
Tyler Hersko, Ventura Published 5:39 p.m. PT June 11, 2018, VC Star
Farmers and public officials celebrated the launch of a historic water monitoring program during a ribbon cutting ceremony Monday afternoon in Oxnard.
Monday’s celebration, part of the multi-phase Advanced Metering Infrastructure and Water Market program, installed telemetry hardware on an agricultural well owned by Oxnard farmer Fred Van Wingerden. The technology will precisely monitor the amount of water used by the farm. Previously, farmers would self-report their water usage, which raised questions of accuracy.
The program is the first of...
Ag Today June 11, 2018
Senate unveils farm bill, leaves food stamps alone
BY JULIET LINDERMAN
June 08, 2018 01:13 PM, Updated June 08, 2018 01:14 PM
The Senate Agriculture Committee on Friday released a bipartisan farm bill that makes mostly modest adjustments to existing programs and, unlike the House version of the bill, doesn't pick a fight over food stamps.
The Senate bill, dubbed the "Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018," is budget-neutral and aims to renew subsidy, conservation, nutrition, rural development and commodity programs set to expire on Sept. 30.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the bill also includes a measure to legalize industrial hemp. In April,...
Ag Today June 8, 2018
Judge Tells Feds to Be on Time With Review of Water Project
June 7, 2018 MATTHEW RENDA, Courthouse News Service
(CN) – A judge denied a request Thursday by a federal water management agency for more time to evaluate the environmental impacts of California’s water transfer program that allows some water rights holders to sell water to parched farms in the southern part of the state.
U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence O’Neill ordered the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to come up with its full environmental analysis of a 10-year water transfer program by the end of June.
The feds had asked for more time...
Ag Today June 7, 2018
Federal judge in Spokane dismisses suit seeking to reinstate country-of-origin labels on imported meat
Thomas Clouse, The Spokesman-Review, June 7, 2018
Where’s the beef from? For now, it remains a mystery.
A federal judge in Spokane this week dismissed a lawsuit filed by domestic livestock producers to reinstate country-of-origin labeling on beef and pork products. The U.S. Department of Agriculture halted such labeling in 2016.
U.S. District Court Judge Rosanna Malouf Peterson agreed with the producers in her Tuesday dismissal that the USDA decision has caused them financial harm. But she ultimately sided with the government, saying that the legal clock had run out...
Ag Today June 6, 2018
Group of 10 senators challenge Trump over tariffs
BY LISA MASCARO AND KEVIN FREKING
June 06, 2018 01:43 PM/Updated June 06, 2018 01:44 PM
A bipartisan group of 10 senators introduced longshot legislation Wednesday that would require Congress to sign off on tariffs imposed in the name of national security, defying President Donald Trump on a bedrock issue that once defined the GOP.
Congressional Republicans are mostly at odds with what they view as Trump's protectionist instincts on trade. Despite much hand-wringing, prospects for any bill to challenge him remain uncertain. Many Republicans are hesitant to confront Trump in a legislative showdown that...
Ag Today June 5, 2018
Koch-Financed Groups Launch Campaign to Halt U.S. Import Tariffs
By Heidi Vogt, The Wall Street Journal
June 4, 2018 7:39 p.m. ET
WASHINGTON—Three organizations financed by conservative billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch are launching a multimillion-dollar campaign against President Donald Trump’s tariffs on imports.
The groups said Monday that the multiyear initiative will include advertising, education of activists, lobbying, policy analysis and “grass roots mobilization.” The groups—Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, Americans for Prosperity and The Libre Initiative—released a list of trade recommendations that focus on encouraging competitive markets and eliminating tariffs.
The effort is an indication of the deep consternation among business groups—normally...