Ag Today October 26, 2018

Opinion: State water grab will devastate our community [Merced Sun-Star]

…The state has a plan, but so does Merced Irrigation District – a plan that will help salmon without devastating our community….Board members can still change course before choosing to devastate one of the poorest communities in the state….We pray that the five water board members will open their ears and hearts and understand what their staff is truly proposing and its impacts on the people who live here. As the state water board staff continues to pursue an ideology, MID remains committed to protecting salmon, our local water supply, our environment and our agriculture.


State-of-the-art irrigation [Manteca Bulletin]

Pressurized delivery of irrigation water to farmers west of Ripon and south of Manteca is saving 12,500 acre feet of water a year or enough to cover the indoor and outdoor water use of 13,000  typical California household for a year. More than a 100 people got a look at the state-of-the-art South San Joaquin Irrigation District Division 9 project that serves as a water industry model for innovation irrigation delivery during a field day on Thursday….Due to water savings and more efficient delivery, it eliminated the need for farmers to supplement surface deliveries with ground water pumping meaning the aquifer is seeing less saltwater intrusion from the Delta and  soil salinity from crop irrigation has been eliminated.


California’s gas tax repeal is in danger of losing – and it could spell trouble for the GOP in the election [CNBC]

Republicans in California had rallied around a gas tax repeal known as Proposition 6, but the measure is now at risk of failing, according to a new poll….If passed, Proposition 6 would repeal an increase in gas taxes as well as vehicle fees passed last year by the Democratic-led state legislature….”I’m voting ‘yes’ on Prop 6 because the gas tax is just another expense that’s hitting me,” said Joe Ferrari, a walnut farmer in the state’s Central Valley. “If I didn’t have to pay these gas taxes, I could probably hire a few more employees.”


Judge tentatively rules against California high-speed rail opponents [Associated Press]

A judge on Thursday tentatively rejected arguments by opponents of California’s high-speed rail project that the state is improperly spending bond money approved by voters in 2008. The parties will appear in Sacramento Superior Court on Friday, with opponents trying to convince Judge Richard Sueyoshi to change his mind. It’s the second time a judge has rejected the argument, and the latest win by the California High-Speed Rail Authority as it seeks to get past years of lawsuits….In addition to lawsuits, the project has faced repeated cost overruns and delays.


Trade retaliations against the U.S. hit Canada farmers, too [Reuters]

The United States’ trade wars have allowed Canada’s agriculture industry to pump up sales of soybeans and wheat to China, and pork to Mexico. But the same tariff battles are undermining commodity prices and eating into Canadian farmers’ profit margins even as they grab more market share. Their struggles illustrate the complex global consequences of U.S. protectionism as tariffs launched by President Donald Trump spark retaliations and redraw global agricultural supply lines around the globe. In the case of Canada, farmers have become bystanders hit by retaliatory strikes aimed at the United States.


Opinion: Don’t believe the hype, organic food doesn’t prevent cancer [The Guardian]

…Media everywhere is reporting that eating organic is not just good for the planet, it can prevent cancer as well….The current noise in the media is over a large epidemiological study that looked at French adults and their eating habits….There were lots of major limitations of this study….One final thing that is really important: if you looked just at those who had a high score for their dietary quality, organic food did nothing. No difference. It appears that, if you eat a balanced diet with lots of fresh fruit and veg, it doesn’t matter whether you opt for organics or conventionally-farmed foods.