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Ag Today July 10, 2020

State inspectors visit ag workplaces to help employers protect laborers from COVID-19 [Bakersfield Californian] A multiagency enforcement initiative announced last week by Gov. Gavin Newsom has dispatched Cal/OSHA inspectors across the state to help employers including local farming companies comply with COVID-19 health and safety precautions. …  The Kern County Farm Bureau gave its members notice Monday of the visits, noting Cal/OSHA views the disease as a workplace hazard that employers must address in a systematic way. … Bryan Little, director of employment policy for the California Farm Bureau Federation and chief operating officer of the Farm Employers Labor Service, said...

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Ag Today July 9, 2020

Clusters of COVID-19 cases arise among North Bay farmworkers, who remain vulnerable [Napa Valley Register] Significant clusters of coronavirus cases have in the last few weeks been reported among the North Bay’s farmworker community – and public health officials say those populations remain at risk. Napa County has partially attributed its recent uptick in COVID-19 cases to clusters among residents of congregate living facilities, including the county’s three farmworker housing centers. … Neighboring Solano County has attributed part of its own recent uptick in coronavirus cases to “a large outbreak among farmworkers in the vineyards in Sonoma and Napa who are residing in...

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Ag Today July 8, 2020

Judge questions Bayer’s Roundup settlement plan [Wall Street Journal] A federal judge cast doubt on Bayer AG ’s proposal to neatly resolve all future lawsuits over the safety of its Roundup weedkiller, potentially snagging the German company’s attempts to move past the massive liability....But with Roundup still being sold and no plans to change the label or active ingredients, settling the litigation isn’t as easy as paying those who have already sued. Bayer proposed a novel type of class action to capture all future claims, which would be guided by the conclusions of a court-approved panel of scientists chosen to study...

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Ag Today July 7, 2020

A look at COVID-19's devastating impact on California agricultural industry [KCRA TV, Sacramento] … During the shutdown between April and May alone, the agricultural industry lost $2 billion, according to a study commissioned by the California Farm Bureau. … The report focuses on the production side of the industry but points out that if losses to processors are factored in, it nearly doubles the overall economic impact. The California Employment Development Department shows unemployment in the agricultural industry at around 13% statewide. In some rural communities where agriculture is the main employer, that number is as high as 80%, according to...

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Ag Today July 6, 2020

As cases surge, California struggles to slow COVID-19 in Latino communities [Sacramento Bee] … Latinos of working age are getting sick and dying from the coronavirus in disproportionately high numbers. … Can the state and its disparate counties muster the data, strategies and community connections to take the fast and focused steps needed to identify and snuff out COVID-19 clusters in under-served communities? … The state’s emergency preparedness campaign, Listos California, is connecting diverse and vulnerable populations to COVID-19 resources, including in areas where there are large farm worker populations. https://www.sacbee.com/news/coronavirus/article243965407.html   Farmworker housing coronavirus outbreak: 188 test positive for COVID-19 [Ventura County Star] …...

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Ag Today July 2, 2020

CA Farm Bureau president says farmworker safety is priority [KABC TV, Los Angeles] California's agricultural businesses have been hit hard by the coronavirus. And as they deal with outbreaks and shipping challenges, farmers and ranchers say they're working hard to keep the food supply steady and safe. Jamie Johansson, president of the California Farm Bureau, joined ABC7 via Skype to talk about the pandemic's impact. … Johansson said there is a lot of uncertainty, but points out the farm industry is resilient. https://abc7.com/californias-agricultural-businesses-farmers-ranchers-farmworkers/6288611/   Fresno County Department of Agriculture distributes nearly one million masks for farm workers [Valley Public Radio, Fresno] As COVID-19 cases in...

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Ag Today July 1, 2020

For local farmers, business depends on restaurant alternatives [Half Moon Bay Review] … A new report commissioned by the California Farm Bureau found that farms and ranches across the state are projected to lose between $6 billion and $9 billion due to the COVID-19 pandemic this year. … The study says that relative success depends on how reliant a farmer or industry is on restaurant versus retail sales. … San Mateo County Farm Bureau President B.J. Burns said it’s too early to know the total effects of the pandemic on local farmers, but he agrees that the distribution method makes a...

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Ag Today June 30, 2020

‘Everything is about humanity.’ Chico-area farm takes new approach to raising pigs [Sacramento Bee] Factory farms cause ongoing environmental impacts and can create new pandemics. So says hog-farmer Charlie Thieriot, whose Chico-area company is taking a different approach -- staying small, selling locally and using ethical and sustainable practices. “What we’re trying to do is raise the pigs the right way and develop direct relationships with chefs and butchers,” said Thieriot, CEO of Llano Seco Meats, the branded arm of Rancho Llano Seco. “It’s a lot more work, but for the most part I know every customer by name.”...According to the...

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Ag Today June 26, 2020

California mandates big increase in zero-emission trucks [Los Angeles Times] The nation’s toughest clean-air mandate on trucks was approved Thursday by the California Air Resources Board. In effect, the board ordered manufacturers of medium-duty and heavy-duty commercial trucks to begin selling zero-emission versions in 2024, with 100,000 sold in California by 2030 and 300,000 by 2035. “This is a bold step we’re taking today,” said air board member Judy Mitchell, adding it is a daunting challenge, given the public investment that will be necessary for buyer incentives and charging infrastructure. https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2020-06-25/new-california-truck-mandate-100-000-zero-emission-commercial-haulers-sold-annually-by-2030   Farm workers in California strike after dozens have virus [Assosciated Press] A group...

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AgToday June 25, 2020

California farmers stand to lose up to $8.6B says Farm Bureau-commissioned study [Salinas Californian] California farmers have already lost $2 billion thanks to the pandemic and stand to as much as $6.6 billion more, an economic report released today by the California Farm Bureau Federation said. And calculating in multiplier effects, the report estimates losses could exceed $10 billion statewide....Monterey County, home to a $4.4 billion agricultural industry, was among the hardest-hit when it came to job loss, the report says....Payment caps in particular prevent specialty growers from recovering substantial costs when they lose a crop or the market for said...

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