Ag Today February 11, 2019

They’re big, furry and could destroy the Delta. California has a $2 million plan to kill them [Sacramento Bee]

California’s San Joaquin River Delta is in danger of being overrun by voracious beagle-sized rodents. The state has a plan to deal with them, but it’s going to take a lot of time and money….“Based on what is known about nutria and their current reproductive rate and distribution, without immediate action, nutria will rapidly expand their numbers and geographic presence and cause extensive damage to wetlands, riparian habitat, restoration projects, levees, water conveyance and flood-protection infrastructure, and agriculture,” according to a memo from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. That memo requests that the California Legislature appropriate $1.9 million for the 2019-20 fiscal year, and $1.6 million in funding in each subsequent year, to pay for a dedicated team of experts who track and eradicate the rodents.


You call that meat? Not so fast, cattle ranchers say [New York Times]

The cattle ranchers and farm bureaus of America are not going to give up their hold on the word meat without a fight. In recent weeks, beef and farming industry groups have persuaded legislators in more than a dozen states to introduce laws that would make it illegal to use the word meat to describe burgers and sausages that are created from plant-based ingredients or are grown in labs….The various legislative efforts are likely to face tough challenges — and not just from vegetarians.


Opinion: Forcing us to eat veggie-burgers won’t save the Earth [Modesto Bee]

There has been no shortage of scientific papers this year outlining the “best” paths forward on climate change and public health. All demand that farmers and consumers change their polluting ways, but each one has overlooked one crucial factor – agricultural ingenuity. It’s everywhere you look on farms up and down California’s Central Valley. This ingenuity assures us that the dire predictions contained in those papers needn’t come true, and makes their draconian recommendations unnecessary at best and likely counterproductive.


Opinion: We don’t trust water board’s chair. Please, Governor make a change [Modesto Bee]

The problem with Felicia Marcus is that she never stopped working for the environmental movement….For the sake of salmon and a million Northern Californians, she must be replaced….The well is poisoned. No one in this region – or the state’s entire ag community – trusts the board’s decisions or Marcus. She’s seen as an advocate for the Big Green environmental profit machine. That’s where she should be getting her paycheck.


Editorial: Imperial Irrigation District ties Colorado River plan to Salton Sea funds. Make it happen. [Palm Springs Desert Sun]

…Among the hardball tactics IID is putting in play: A demand that the federal government provide $200 million for efforts to bolster the beleaguered Salton Sea. We’ve taken IID to task for some of its actions and policies in the past, but we’re right there in the batter’s box with the agency on this. For far too long Sacramento and our leaders in Washington have slow-walked any substantive efforts to keep the sea from spiraling into an ecological nightmare. While some work has begun to try to mitigate the worst immediate effects along the shores, the lake’s demise has jumped into overdrive.


Editorial: Esoteric report is better news than most realize [Chico Enterprise-Record]

The Department of Water Resources reported last week that the surface level of most of the Sacramento Valley wasn’t dropping, which is incredibly good news….There’s been a slow drop in Colusa and Yolo counties, but Butte and Glenn and the rest of the valley counties are fine. That’s good news, and maybe an opportunity to let people know that water supply isn’t just a matter of turning on the tap. We have to be stewards of the source.