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Ag Today January 3, 2018

New rules on pesticide use near schools take effect By Claudia Meléndez Salinas, Monterey Herald POSTED: 01/02/18, 6:27 PM PST | UPDATED: 7 HRS AGO SALINAS >> Growers in California will have to begin notifying schools near agricultural fields what kinds of pesticides they’re planning to apply in the surrounding areas a year in advance, as prescribed by new regulations that took effect Monday. To help growers with the process, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation has developed a website where school administrators can log in to see what these chemicals are, said Monterey County Acting Agricultural Commissioner Bob Roach. “The notification... is something new,” Roach said. Growers will...

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Ag Today January 2, 2018

US eyes increased pumping from biggest federal water project The Associated Press  DECEMBER 29, 2017 01:16 PM, UPDATED DECEMBER 29, 2017 01:17 PM SAN FRANCISCO  The Trump administration said Friday it will look at revving up water deliveries to farmers from California's Central Valley Project, the largest federal water project in the United States, in what environmental groups called a threat to protections for struggling native salmon and other endangered species. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation formally served notice it would begin looking at changing the operation of the massive California water project to maximize water deliveries. Spokeswoman Erin Curtis called it the first step...

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Ag Today December 29, 2017

'Farm To City' Deal To Dry Out Stretches Of California's Legendary Salton Sea December 29, 20175:03 AM ET Heard on Morning Edition, Valley Public Radio JOHN NIELSEN California's legendary Salton Sea may need an epitaph soon, thanks to a "farm to city" water deal that takes full effect in 2018. The controversial deal redirects most of the water that now sustains the Salton Sea to thirsty towns and cities. As a result, in the years ahead, more than a third of the 350-square-mile lake in the deserts of southeastern California is expected to dry up and blow away. Mitigation experts with the state of California say...

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Ag Today December 28, 2017

After Pesticide Incidents Sicken Farmworkers, Advocates Push to Make Penalties Stronger By Ted Goldberg DECEMBER 27, 2017- KQED News Farmworker advocates say they hope four separate pesticide drift incidents this year that appeared to sicken more than 150 workers will prompt state lawmakers to strengthen rules governing use of the agricultural chemicals. “These drift incidents happen all the time,” said Valerie Gorospe, a community organizer with the Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment, an environmental justice group based in Oakland and Delano, who has helped farmworkers in the aftermath of several chemical drift events. “Our current laws and our regulations that we have for the state of...

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Ag Today December 27, 2017

Farmer who faced $2.8 million fine over plowing his field says case nearly bankrupted him Damon Arthur, Record SearchlightPublished 7:00 a.m. PT Dec. 26, 2017 | Updated 4:46 p.m. PT Dec. 26, 2017 It’s been six years since John Duarte set out to grow wheat on 500 acres south of Red Bluff. But no crop has been harvested since he planted wheat in 2012. Only weeds grow on the 450-acre plot surrounded by a barbed wire fence and a dusty dirt road south of Red Bluff. While the area looks inconspicuous, for a few months last summer it drew nationwide attention when it became the...

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Ag Today December 26, 2017

One gas-tax repeal effort gains steam, another is fading By MARTIN WISCKOL | mwisckol@scng.com | Orange County Register December 25, 2017 at 5:00 am The Buzz is the Register’s weekly political news column. Assemblyman and gubernatorial candidate Travis Allen was the first to prepare a ballot measure calling for the repeal the state’s new gas tax, but a second proposal is gaining momentum while Allen’s is poised to die. The Huntington Beach Republican submitted his plan to state elections officials in June, but has since been engaged in legally wrangling over the title given the measure by Attorney General Xavier Becerra. The 12-cent per gallon hike effective Nov .1 — along with...

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Ag Today December 21, 2017

Temperance Flat presentation heard by Water Commission by John Lindt, December 21, updated 5 hours ago Some 12 proposed water storage projects shared the stage at a recent California Water Commission meeting with all vying for some share to be apportioned from the same $2.7 billion pot of money available through the Proposition 1 water bond. Kings County Board of Supervisors Chairman Craig Pedersen attended the meeting and found the presentation by advocates of the Temperance Flat project above Fresno to be the most compelling. “It was just terrific "showing how the new dam’s benefits were widespread," he said. “I know some environmental groups...

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Ag Today December 20, 2017

Back in the Valley, GOP tax bill gets approval from farmers and businesses BY LEWIS GRISWOLD AND BONHIA LEE DECEMBER 19, 2017 05:03 PM The long-anticipated passage of the GOP tax bill by Congress, now expected to be approved Wednesday after a hiccup Tuesday, is bringing smiles to those who run businesses and farms in the central San Joaquin Valley. The bill would lower the corporate tax rate to 21 percent, down from 35 percent, which is welcomed by business owners who are incorporated. Carl Carlsen, the owner of Western Ag & Turf in Madera, said he’s complained many times about the amount he pays...

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Ag Today December 19, 2017

U.S. Businesses Find Welcome Surprises in Tax Bill Last-minute changes to the tax-overhaul bill dropped key provisions that most worried companies while raising other costs slightly By Theo Francis Updated Dec. 19, 2017 5:46 a.m. ET  The final tax bill offers much of what large companies hoped to gain from the Republican overhaul: the billboard corporate rate was knocked down, cuts were accelerated and key credits were preserved. “Overall, the business community is very pleased with the bill,” said Neil Bradley, chief policy officer at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “If someone would have said 11 months ago, by the end of the year we’d able to...

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Ag Today December 18, 2017

Valley's canal continues to sink, price tag could rise Luis Hernandez, lfhernan@visaliatimesdelta.comPublished 8:52 a.m. PT Dec. 18, 2017 TERRA BELLA – A portion of one of the Valley's largest waterway is sinking. It's getting worse each month and while the water levels drop, the price tag rises. Earlier this year, the Friant Water Authority reported measurements that showed a nearly 3-foot drop in the Friant-Kern Canal's elevation in some places. This summer, a second measurement showed an additional 5-inch drop since April — meaning the subsidence occurred at a rate of one inch per month. “These findings are not entirely unexpected,” said Doug DeFlitch, Friant...

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