Ag Today

AG Today

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Ag Today June 23, 2021

Supreme Court rules California farms can keep union organizers off private land [Los Angeles Times] The Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down part of a historic California law inspired by Cesar Chavez and the farm workers union, ruling that agricultural landowners and food processors have a right to keep union organizers off their property. The justices by a 6-3 vote said the state’s “right of access” rule violates property rights protected by the Constitution, which states private property shall not be “taken for public use without just compensation.” Writing for the majority, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said “the access...

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Ag Today June 22, 2021

CA Insurance Commissioner visits Butte County [KRCR TV, Redding] Recent wildfires have made it harder and more expensive for homeowners and agricultural businesses to buy insurance coverage. … California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara visited Paradise on Monday to discuss with the community what he is doing to help solve the problem. … For the first time in the history of the California Department of Insurance, Lara has directed insurance companies to report data on non-renewals and underwriting restrictions with a focus on agriculture and outdoor industries. … Lara is also a big proponent of Senate Bill 11 (SB 11). SB 11...

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Ag Today June 21, 2021

In Russian River’s fabled vineyards, the harvest of a drought; State regulators halt water to part of region’s agriculture [Bay Area News Group] … Behind the arcana of water law, a larger conflict is playing out, one rooted in a profound disagreement over agriculture’s rights to a dwindling resource. Even as there is less water to go around, their share is shrinking, fear farmers and ranchers. The new regulation sets a dangerous precedent for the agriculture industry and the consumers it serves, they say. While health and safety concerns deserve top priority, “Safeway and our farmers markets are going to look...

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Ag Today June 18, 2021

Farm workers and the heat: ‘It isn’t easy work, it’s hard work’ [KSEE TV, Fresno] … It’s something many may not think about in the hot temperatures, but workers are still out in the fields to ensure there are fruits and vegetables in grocery stores. … “It’s very important that people understand that people are out here braving these temperatures, doing this hard work. It isn’t easy work, it’s hard work,” said Joe Del Bosque, a farmer on the westside. … But with the hot temperatures, Del Bosque said they’ll sometimes ask them to go home early. … Because Friday could be...

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Ag Today June 17, 2021

Climate change batters the West before summer even begins [New York Times] … Global warming, driven by the burning of fossil fuels, has been heating up and drying out the American West for years. Now the region is broiling under a combination of a drought that is the worst in two decades and a record-breaking heat wave. … The drought has forced farmers to take drastic measures. … “We’ve been through droughts. This is one of the driest we can remember,” said Dan Errotabere, 66, whose family has grown fruits, vegetables and nuts near Fresno for a century. … Many California farmers are already using...

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Ag Today June 16, 2021

Drought prompts state to cut off water to thousands of farms, water agencies [San Francisco Chronicle] … The extraordinary directive, issued Tuesday by state regulators amid a deepening drought, targets 4,300 “junior” water rights holders between Fresno County and the Oregon border and forces them to turn to sources of water other than surface supplies, such as wells or storage — or go without water entirely. The restrictions are likely to hit California farmers the hardest, both because they use the most water and because they don’t always have alternative sources. … “Curtailment is not a game,” said Chris Scheuring, water attorney...

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Ag Today June 15, 2021

Central Coast farmers and ranchers see an increase of insurance companies drop them due to wildfire risk [KSBY TV, San Luis Obispo] … California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara and the California Farm Bureau came together Monday at Booker Vineyard in Paso Robles to discuss fire insurance issues facing local farmers, ranchers, and agriculture businesses. … "They've taken those steps of having those defensible spaces, maybe making sure they have metal roofs on their barns or homes and still being denied, even though they've taken those steps that seem to say we are mitigating that risk when it comes to wildfire," said...

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Ag Today June 14, 2021

California’s biggest heat wave of the year heightens drought and fire fears [Los Angeles Times] With a worsening drought gripping the West and wildfire season looming, California is bracing for the most severe heat wave of the year — one that promises to tax the state’s power supplies while also offering a grim preview of challenging months to come. … And though dwindling water supplies can affect people at a local level, the results can resonate nationwide, particularly because California produces much of the country’s agriculture. Already, many farmers in the Central Valley have declared the outlook for the year to be...

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Ag Today June 11, 2021

A reservoir shutdown pits neighbor against neighbor. One group is threatening to reopen it by force [CNN] … As the Klamath Basin dried up, an environmental crisis exploded into a water war this year that has pitted local farmers against Native American tribes, government agencies and conservationists, with one group threatening to take the water back by force. … The shutdown has upended agricultural practices, taxed the community and added financial burden to farming families. … Yet many local farmers do not want to get their water back by force. … As time runs out and the drought worsens, the one thing...

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Ag Today June 10, 2021

Biden administration to restore clean-water protections ended by Trump [New York Times] The Biden administration intends to revive federal environmental protections for millions of streams, marshes and other bodies of water across the country that had been eliminated by former President Donald Trump in his quest to please home builders, farmers and ranchers. The Environmental Protection Agency made the announcement Wednesday after it said it had found that the changes under Mr. Trump caused “significant environmental degradation.” … It marked the latest in a series of decisions by President Biden to restore environmental protections that Mr. Trump had weakened or repealed,...

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