Ag Today October 10, 2017
Sonoma County farmers and livestock flee from Wine Country fires
By Tara Duggan, San Francisco Chronicle
The Wine Country fires are hitting the heart of Sonoma County farm and dairy land, and many ranchers and farmers had either evacuated or were preparing to evacuate their properties on Monday. The impact on the local agricultural economy could be devastating.
Sonoma County farms house 30,000 dairy cows and 35,000 sheep and goats, according to the 2016 Sonoma County Crop Report. The report lists the value of its agriculture at close to $900 million, with livestock and poultry accounting for $178 million, and about $10 million from...
Ag Today October 9, 2017
Once again, Southern California could make or break a major California water project
By Dale Kasler and Ryan Sabalow, Sacramento Bee
In 1960, the water barons of Los Angeles stood between Gov. Pat Brown and his dream of building a network of dams and canals to make the southern half of California bloom. He beat them – just barely, after weeks of public arm-twisting – and the State Water Project was born.
Now Brown’s son, the current Gov. Jerry Brown, is calling on Southern California to support another massive water project – the Delta tunnels, a controversial plan aimed at fixing the system his...
Ag Today October 6, 2017
Trump threatened to kill the South Korea trade deal, but now the US has changed its tone
By Leslie Shaffer, CNBC
President Donald Trump's threats to terminate the U.S. trade agreement with South Korea ended up spurring support for the deal — and now both parties are striking a conciliatory tone.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said Wednesday he looked forward to talks on resolving implementation issues and potential amendments, which was a far cry from the chances of canceling the entire agreement.
That more conciliatory tone was a marked change from a late August report in The Wall Street Journal, just before a long...
Ag Today October 4, 2017
California Farmers Make Plea For Progress On DACA Legislation
By Kelly Ryan, KOVR TV, Sacramento
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — California farmworkers feed not only the state but the world. Now, an agreement that would protect thousands of undocumented workers hangs in the balance, leaving many fearing they could be deported.
The California State Board of Food and Agriculture heard from those in the agricultural community about recent federal immigration changes.
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program was meant to protect immigrants from deportation who came to the U.S. as children.
As Democrats and Republicans continue to disagree over what happens next, there are questions whether these...
Ag Today October 3, 2017
UC Riverside to take avocado breeding program global
By David Downey, Riverside Press-Enterprise
You know California is the most prolific avocado producing state. You may not know that, for almost 70 years, UC Riverside has had a breeding program to complement the avocado growing industry.
“It’s been a well-kept secret,” said Mary Lu Arpaia, program director and a cooperative extension specialist in the university’s Botany and Plant Science Department.
Now UCR wants to elevate the program’s profile by luring private investment from throughout the world.
“The idea is to take the avocado breeding program global and find global partners,” Arpaia said.
Prospective partners are asked to commit...
Ag Today October 2, 2017
In 1939, the feds made a Central Valley water deal. It may doom the Delta tunnels.
By Dale Kasler and Ryan Sabalow, Sacramento Bee
Dam builders from President Franklin Roosevelt’s administration wanted to bring water to the parched eastern half of the San Joaquin Valley, but first they had to deal with a cluster of landowners whose ancestors had been there since the 1800s.
The deal they cut in 1939 paved the way for much of the Central Valley Project, an engineering marvel that helped turn the Valley into one of the world’s most productive farming regions.
It has also formed the basis, nearly 80...
Ag Today September 29, 2017
Solano farmer rolls ‘7’ in gamble against Medfly quarantine
By Todd R. Hansen, Fairfield Daily Republic
FAIRFIELD — Derrick Lum was staring at the prospect of losing two important crops and a lot of income. So he rolled the dice.
They came up “seven.”
“I knew my crops of walnuts and persimmons would be harvested within the month. So I asked the county what I can do if a quarantine is in effect,” Lum said Thursday, one day after a Mediterranean fruit fly quarantine was declared in the county.
Those options left the possibility that he would have to wait too long to harvest and ship...
Ag Today September 28, 2017
Trade Officials Make Progress at Latest Nafta Talks, but Uncertainty Remains
U.S., Canada and Mexico remain far apart on issues such as how to resolve disputes
By Paul Vieira and Sara Schaefer Muñoz, Wall Street Journal
OTTAWA—The third round of talks to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement ended amid growing pessimism about the ability of the three countries to reach a consensus over the most contentious parts of the pact.
At a closing event Wednesday afternoon, senior officials from the U.S., Canada and Mexico applauded progress, including the conclusion of a chapter addressing small and midsize businesses.
But in the hallways and at the...
Ag Today September 27, 2017
Valley air district focuses on particulate pollution at local workshop
By Steven Mayer, Bakersfield Californian
An air quality workshop held in Bakersfield Tuesday night started out like a polite government meeting, with scads of information about progress made in controlling dangerous PM2.5 particle pollution in the valley -- and plans being formed to control it even further.
But as the workshop moved into the public comment period, it came to resemble a verbal boxing match. In one corner were air quality advocates and the environmental community demanding more and faster progress; in the other, farming representatives angry, they said, that their contributions to cleaner...
Ag Today Septmeber 26, 2017
Who’s going to pay for California’s giant water tunnels? Bet you can guess
By Ellen Knickmeyer and Scott Smith, Associated Press
SAN FRANCISCO — Water districts and households across California could be compelled to help pay for Gov. Jerry Brown’s plans to build two giant tunnels to ferry water to cities and farms mainly in central and Southern California, under newly revealed plans to shore up funding for the struggling $16 billion project.
The tougher state funding demands pivot from longstanding state and federal assurances that only local water districts that seek to take part in the mega-project would have to pay for the...