Ag Today October 15, 2019
State water officials to vote on valley-wide plan to reduce nitrate and salt [Valley Public Radio]
Later this week, the State Water Resources Control Board will vote on a long-anticipated plan to reduce some of the pollutants flowing into Central Valley water. However, not everyone agrees on the details. The program is called Central Valley Salinity Alternatives for Long-Term Sustainability, or CV-SALTS….A decade in the making, the plan is the result of a collaborative effort between a variety of groups including cities, agricultural interests and disadvantaged communities, who generally agree the plan represents a compromise….A sticking point, however, is that the...
Ag Today October 14, 2019
Trump announces partial deal with China, but comprehensive solution still looks far off [Los Angeles Times]
Facing a slowing U.S. economy, growing complaints from farmers and political pressure over impeachment, President Trump on Friday announced a partial, tentative trade agreement with China despite his long-standing insistence that he would only strike a tough, comprehensive deal with Beijing. Trump said the agreement, which came after a resumption of high-level trade talks in Washington this week, would include a “tremendous” increase in Chinese purchases of U.S. farm goods….Trump said China had agreed to boost U.S. agricultural purchases to $40 billion to $50 billion,...
Ag Today October 10, 2019
Agreement accelerates phase-out of potent pesticide [Bakersfield Californian]
An agreement announced Wednesday is expected to phase out use of the potent but highly toxic pesticide chlorpyrifos in California by the end of next year, heading off a legal battle state officials say could have lasted years. The accord between the state Department of Pesticide Regulation and companies including chemical manufacturer Dow AgroSciences LLC calls for banning sales of chlorpyrifos in the state as of Feb. 6. California growers won't be allowed to possess or use the pesticide after Dec. 31, 2020….Chlorpyrifos' manufacturer, Corteva Agriscience, told the Associated Press in a statement...
Ag Today October 9, 2019
Millions without power as PG&E shuts down grid amid critical fire danger [Los Angeles Times]
Large swaths of Northern California awoke to darkness Wednesday as Pacific Gas & Electric began a sweeping plan to shut off power to about 800,000 customers in a desperate attempt to avoid wildfires sparked by wind-damaged electrical equipment….The PG&E blackouts are expected to ultimately affect 34 counties in Central and Northern California, more than half of all counties in the state. It marks the largest power shutdown to date as utilities across California attempt to reduce wildfire risks in the face of heavy winds….Assembly Republican leader...
Ag Today October 8, 2019
Huge swath of Northern California could have power turned off as fire danger rises [Los Angeles Times]
In what could be the biggest implementation yet of California’s strategy of shutting off power to prevent wildfires, the state’s largest utility announced Monday that blackouts were possible later this week in a large swath of the Bay Area and Northern California. Citing the potential for extremely dry air and steady winds of up to 30 mph, with gusts that experts said could be twice as strong, Pacific Gas & Electric announced it was considering a public safety power shut-off for 29 counties between...
Ag Today October 7, 2019
Commentary: Trump is under fire in Washington. But he’s winning big in California [Los Angeles Times]
President Trump is getting pounded in Washington. But in California’s leftist capital, he’s receiving nifty gifts. The unlikely givers are Democrats, although it’s certainly not their intention. Trump is still their favorite party piñata. The president was recently handed two very nice freebies. One was when a federal judge ruled last week that Democrats — legislators and Gov. Gavin Newsom — had no business trying to strong-arm Trump into publicly releasing his income tax returns as a condition of appearing on California’s presidential primary ballot....The...
Ag Today October 4, 2019
The next big California vs. Trump fight is over water and endangered species [Los Angeles Times]
...Some of the state’s biggest and most powerful water agencies are eager for the federal government to weaken endangered species protections that have cut their delta deliveries. And they want the Newsom administration to go along....On the other hand, if California bucks the feds and develops a tougher set of state species protections to govern water exports from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, it’s uncertain if it can force the big federal irrigation project to obey them. And if the delta winds up with one set...
Ag Today October 3, 2019
U.S. to tax European aircraft, agriculture and other goods [New York Times]
The Trump administration said Wednesday that it would impose tariffs on European aircraft, French wine and cheese, Spanish olive oil and other goods starting Oct. 18, after the World Trade Organization granted the United States permission to tax as much as $7.5 billion of European exports annually. The tariffs are part of a long-running complaint over subsidies given to the European plane maker Airbus and are intended to allow the United States to recoup some of the losses the American plane maker Boeing sustained because of Europe’s trade practices....The...
Ag Today October 2, 2019
Trump administration surrenders to California, backs off on Delta water fight [Sacramento Bee]
The Trump administration has retreated on a plan to push more water through the Delta this fall after protests from California officials on the harmful impacts on endangered Chinook salmon and other fish....President Donald Trump has been trying to increase water deliveries to Valley farmers in particular since taking office, and the decision to back off on the Delta issue marks a rare bit of peacemaking between the Trump administration and California over a wide range of issues, including the environment....This week’s decision only affects water pumping this...
Ag Today October 1, 2019
Future uncertain for Shasta Dam raising after irrigation district stops work on study [Redding Record Searchlight]
Following losses in court, a Fresno-based irrigation district has backed off its plans to do an environmental study on raising the height of Shasta Dam. The Westlands Water District announced Monday that it has stopped working on the report because it could not meet the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation's schedule for the project….And with Democrats in Congress so far reluctant to fund the project, the dam raise faces more than just legal hurdles. The California Attorney General's Office, as well as numerous environmental and fishing...