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Ag Today October 16, 2020

Trump administration blocks California wildfire relief [Los Angeles Times] The Trump administration has rejected California’s request for disaster relief funds aimed at cleaning up the damage from six recent fires across the state, including Los Angeles County’s Bobcat fire, San Bernardino County’s El Dorado fire, and the Creek fire, one of the largest that continues to burn in Fresno and Madera counties. The move heightens tensions between California and the president over wildfires. … The decision came to light when the administration denied a request from Gov. Gavin Newsom for a major presidential disaster declaration, said Brian Ferguson, deputy director of crisis communication...

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Ag Today October 15, 2020

Which businesses would pay more property tax under Proposition 15? It’s complicated [Los Angeles Times] … Critics remain unconvinced by the promise of protecting small businesses and have warned its protection for agricultural land includes a worrisome loophole. … Farmers, in particular, believe the ballot measure’s silence on land improvements could mean higher property tax assessments for barns, offices — and even fruit trees planted as part of new farming operations. “This affects agriculture,” Jamie Johansson, president of the California Farm Bureau Federation and an Oroville farmer, said during the Sacramento Press Club debate. “And multiple-generation farmers, as well as first-time...

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Ag Today October 14, 2020

  Trump makes water demand of farms priority for new office [Associated Press] President Donald Trump on Tuesday created what he called a “subcabinet” for federal water issues, with a mandate that includes water-use changes sought by corporate farm interests and oil and gas. … Establishment of a water subcabinet “will streamline decision-making processes” across federal agencies, the EPA said in a statement. The first priority set out by the executive order is increasing dam storage and other water storage, long a demand of farmers and farm interests in the West in particular. https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/california/story/2020-10-13/trump-makes-water-demand-of-farms-priority-for-new-office   Latinos, farmworkers, 20-year-olds have most COVID-19 cases in Santa Barbara...

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