Ag Today

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Ag Today September 24, 2018

Stanislaus County appeals ruling that would make it harder for farmers to dig wells [Modesto Bee] Stanislaus County will ask the state Supreme Court for a ruling on whether environmental review is a necessary step for a new water well....The plaintiffs claimed the county was violating the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) in approving well permits without considering environmental harm...Wayne Zipser, executive director of Stanislaus County Farm Bureau, said a victory for the plaintiffs would be terribly burdensome for land owners. https://www.modbee.com/news/article218804095.html   A Delta farmer says the state poisoned his crops. Is California’s water supply safe? [Sacramento Bee] ...Fluridone is just one chemical the...

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Ag Today September 21, 2018

Valadao, Costa, other Valley leaders rally in support of California water ballot prop [Fresno Bee] A coalition of local leaders gathered Thursday at the Friant-Kern Canal near Millerton Lake to formally launch the Yes on Prop 3 campaign in support of a state water bond they say would bring billions of dollars in much-needed relief to the central San Joaquin Valley….Proposition 3 would authorize $8.9 billion in general obligation bonds for various infrastructure repair and maintenance programs, wastewater treatment upgrades, safe drinking water improvements and environmental conservancy efforts such as fishery improvements and groundwater replenishment. The coalition praised specifically a section...

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Ag Today September 20, 2018

The Salton Sea is shrinking even faster, and California still hasn't done much to fix it [Palm Springs Desert Sun] In November 2015, there was a rare celebration at the Salton Sea….Three years later, the dirt at Red Hill Bay is still dry, and it could be dry for another year or more. The shoreline is receding faster than ever. The lake's few remaining fish have been dying off rapidly. And state officials have fallen even further behind on their promise to prevent an ecological and public health disaster at this oasis in the desert. https://www.desertsun.com/story/news/environment/2018/09/19/salton-sea-dying-california-still-hasnt-done-much-help/1306235002/   Victory for Monterey Coastkeeper as court rules...

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Ag Today September 19, 2018

Five years later, ballots show fruit workers have rejected the UFW [Los Angeles Times] More than 2,000 workers whose ballots were impounded five years ago saw the results of their vote Tuesday — an ouster of the United Farm Workers as their representative at Gerawan Farming, the state’s largest grower of peaches and other stone fruits. A preliminary tally showed 1,098 workers voted against the union founded by Cesar Chavez, while 197 supported the UFW, said Jesse Rojas, a spokesman for Pick Justice, the worker group that fought for three years to have the ballots opened. The count has not been...

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Ag Today September 18, 2018

China retaliates with tariffs on $60 billion of U.S. goods [Wall Street Journal] China scrambled to deal with an escalating trade fight with the U.S., issuing an expected volley of tariffs and weighing whether to agree to Washington’s offer for more trade talks. The announcement by the country’s cabinet came half a day after President Trump announced new tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods, an action that left Chinese officials seeking an appropriate response. The new Chinese levies, on imports from the U.S. ranging from farm products and machinery to chemicals, will take effect on Sept. 24, the same day...

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Ag Today September 17, 2018

Farmers thought they had 20 years to use groundwater as they wished - maybe not anymore [Sacramento Bee] …For the first time, a California court has said state and county governments have a duty to regulate groundwater usage when it’s clear that the pumping drains water from adjacent rivers….The Aug. 29 ruling by the Third District Court of Appeal involves the Scott River in Siskiyou County, an obscure 60-mile tributary of the Klamath near the Oregon border that suddenly looms as a major artery in California water law….The court case spotlighted the often overlooked connection between rivers and aquifers….The court established...

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Ag Today September 14, 2018

More critical water storage is finally coming to California. It took nearly 40 years. [McClatchy News Service] ...The House approved several provisions Thursday that help fund water storage projects. The Senate is expected to concur shortly, and Trump is expected to sign the legislation into law next week. Republican Rep. Jeff Denham and Democrat Rep. Jim Costa have been pushing for additional water storage for the state for years in constantly-at-risk-of-drought California.... “This has been on our agenda for ages, before I even started here in 1991,” said Bruce Blodgett, executive director of the San Joaquin Farm Bureau, which has endorsed...

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Ag Today September 13, 2018

Five years later, Gerawan workers may finally have votes counted in disputed election [Fresno Bee] After five years of waiting, workers who voted to get rid of the United Farm Workers union from Gerawan Farming may finally find out the results of their disputed election. The state Supreme Court on Wednesday denied a request from the state Agricultural Labor Relations Board to review a lower court’s ruling that found fault with the ALRB’s decision to impound the ballots. The election took place in 2013 and the results have been mired in legal challenges and charges of unfair labor practices. https://www.fresnobee.com/news/business/agriculture/article218296805.html   ‘Things got a...

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Ag today September 12, 2018

How far can California push the nation — and the world? Jerry Brown's climate summit may provide the answer [Los Angeles Times] Even as California forged its own path for years to battle global warming, pressing forward whether Washington agreed or not, skeptics have persistently scolded that it is just a state — it can’t set policy for the nation, much less the world. If California ever had a moment to prove them wrong, it is now. At the international climate summit Gov. Jerry Brown will kick off Wednesday in San Francisco, the state is playing a role none ever has,...

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Ag Today September 11, 2018

Forest-thinning measures likely dead in Congress, despite Trump, California Republicans [McClatchy News Service] ...Multiple sources on Capitol Hill and from advocacy groups affirmed that lawmakers are likely to drop most of the controversial forestry measures from the Farm Bill, the multi-year agriculture and land use law that members of Congress are trying to finalize this month....Environmentalists, ecologists and forestry experts have raised particular concern about a proposal to log areas after fires have come through, which they argue would not help reduce the risk of future fires. House and Senate negotiators are now trying to reconcile the two pieces of legislation...

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