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Ag Today June 22, 2017

Cal/OSHA reminds employers to protect workers during heat wave For the Register, Jun 21, 2017 During the heat wave across the state, Cal/OSHA is reminding all employers to protect their outdoor workers from heat illness, especially those not accustomed to working in high heat conditions. Employers need to ensure workers are drinking plenty of water and taking breaks in the shade as temperatures rise across many regions of California, said a Cal/OSHA news release. The National Weather Service is forecasting unusually high temperatures throughout the state. In Napa, the temperature was expected to hit 98 degrees on Wednesday, then peak at 101 degrees on...

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Ag Today June 21, 2017

Delta Caucus objects to Brown’s ‘WaterFix Project’ By Digital First News Group POSTED: 06/21/17, 4:24 AM PDT | UPDATED: 2 HRS AGO Gov. Jerry Brown’s push to expedite planning and construction of the twin tunnels project in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta violates key parts of the Delta Reform Act of 2009 and has the state Department of Water Resources abdicating its responsibilities by turning over management of the project to water agencies, the Legislative Delta Caucus charged Tuesday in a letter to the governor. “The governor’s proposed WaterFix Project is a boondoggle, plain and simple,” said Assemblyman Jim Frazier, D-Solano, who co-chairs the Caucus with State...

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Ag Today June 20, 2017

Agriculture a key player in north state economy, study shows By Steve Schoonover, Chico Enterprise-Record POSTED: 06/19/17, 4:08 PM PDT | UPDATED: 10 HRS AGO Chico >> A new study confirms that agriculture is a much bigger player in the economy of northeastern California than of the state as a whole. The study by Chico State University agriculture Professor Eric Houk found that 18.9 percent of the jobs in Chico State’s 13-county service area were ag-related, compared with 7.6 percent statewide. About 18 cents of every dollar of economic value created in the area comes from ag, compared to 6.7 cents statewide. The 13 counties stretch from Yuba, Sutter and...

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Ag Today June 19, 2017

He wanted Trump’s EPA chief to testify for him. Here’s what the judge said BY DALE KASLER dkasler@sacbee.com California farmer John Duarte, fighting a multimilllion-dollar fine in a closely watched environmental case, lost his bid Friday to have the head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency testify in Sacramento on his behalf. U.S. District Judge Kimberly Mueller, ruling in a pretrial hearing, said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt won’t be called as a witness. Pruitt “has no particular knowledge of this case, no relevant knowledge,” she said. The judge did say she might reconsider her decision during the trial, which is set to begin in mid-August. The...

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Ag Today June 16, 2017

How Trump’s EPA chief got caught up in farm fight in Sacramento BY DALE KASLER AND RYAN SABALOW dkasler@sacbee.com California farmer John Duarte, facing a hefty fine over water-law violations for plowing a field, wants to call in a big gun in his high-profile court case in Sacramento: Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Duarte has listed Pruitt as a potential witness in his case, in which he’s fighting a $2.8 million fine he received for harming wetlands while planting a wheat crop in Tehama County five years ago. Pruitt briefly mentioned the Duarte case during his Senate confirmation hearing in January...

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Ag Today June 15, 2017

Local farmer using excess water to flood crops and improve his water table By Dale Yurong Wednesday, June 14, 2017 05:59PM FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --ABC 30 An olive orchard at Terranova Ranch in western Fresno County is being flooded to recharge the aquifer. "A lot of people didn't think we could do it, or we'd injure the vines or crops long-term," said The water percolates underground where it's stored and pumped back up at a later date-- the olives still look healthy. "We're seeing how much water we can put on, how long we can leave it on without harming the crops," said Don Cameron, Helm farmer. Cameron is...

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Ag Today June 14, 2017

4 Things You Should Know About California’s Biggest Reservoir By Craig Miller JUNE 13, 2017   It’s Probably Not the One You’re Thinking Of Nope, not Shasta Lake. That’s California’s largest surface reservoir, which is currently bulging with more than 4 million acre-feet of water (Californians use about 40 million acre-feet in a year). You’re not likely to find the biggest “reservoir” on a map—but you might be standing on it. It’s underground, in the vast aquifers that lie beneath sections of the state, the Central Valley in particular. “I don’t think anybody’s tried to calculate the complete volume,” says Claudia Faunt, a hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey in San Diego. But...

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Ag Today June 13, 2017

Climate change could burn a hole in the Forest Service’s budget BY ANSHU SIRIPURAPU asiripurapu@mcclatchydc.com WASHINGTON Climate change appears to be fueling more wildfires as forest service officials are increasingly concerned they don’t have the funds to effectively handle another devastating season. While Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell told senators last week he’s got enough budget funds to deal with most of the 7,000 fires that occur annually in national forests, “it's that 1 to 2 percent of our fires, that when we have a very active fire season, that goes way beyond our capability to handle within our appropriations." In 1995, 16 percent of the...

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Ag Today June 12, 2017

New oversight of groundwater taking shape in Sonoma County GUY KOVNER THE PRESS DEMOCRAT | June 10, 2017, 10:27PM | Updated 6 hours ago. Groundwater: What you need to know For information on the Sonoma County’s Sustainable Groundwater Management program, click here. For a Department of Water Resources tool that will show if your property is in a groundwater basin, click here. Groundwater basins are California’s largest reservoirs, more than 10 times the size of all surface reservoirs combined. Groundwater provides about 38 percent of the state’s total annual water supply, and up to 60 percent in dry years. Sonoma County draws more than 70 percent of its water from wells to...

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Ag Today June 9, 2017

If you don’t like California’s gas tax increase, you’re not alone BY CHRISTOPHER CADELAGO ccadelago@sacbee.com California voters overwhelmingly oppose a recent tax and fee package pushed by Gov. Jerry Brown and the Democratic-dominated Legislature to pay for road repairs, a new poll finds. The gas tax law, which ushers in a 10-year program to raise more than $52 billion for transportation projects, is so unpopular it could backfire on Democrats in upcoming elections. Fifty eight percent of voters oppose Senate Bill 1, including 39 percent who say they strongly reject the legislation, according to the survey from UC Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies. Only 35...

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