Ag Today May 21, 2018
House Rejects Farm Bill as Some Conservatives Withhold Support
By Siobhan Hughes and Jesse Newman - Updated May 18, 2018 7:06 p.m. ET, The Wall Street Journal
WASHINGTON—The House defeated a Republican-written farm bill on Friday after GOP leaders couldn’t win over a bloc of their party’s most conservative lawmakers, who were demanding a separate vote soon on a measure to toughen immigration enforcement.
The conservatives, members of the House Freedom Caucus, broke with their party even as leaders tried to persuade them that an immigration measure they wanted to bring to the floor would come up in June as part of a...
Ag Today May 18, 2018
China Agrees to Buy More U.S. Goods and Services
By Bob Davis in Washington and Lingling Wei in Beijing
Updated May 18, 2018 8:53 p.m. ET
The U.S. and China wrapped up a second day of talks with Beijing agreeing to buy more U.S. goods and services but resisting demands that it slash by more than half the vast trade deficit, according to people briefed on the talks.
The Chinese were wary of committing to specific purchases, said the people, but were looking for a way to ease trade tensions between the two nations, which have rattled markets globally. Earlier on Friday, White House...
Ag Today May 17, 2018
Mapping changes in world’s water, NASA scientists find 'human fingerprint' in many areas
Ian James, The Desert Sun Published 10:06 a.m. PT May 16, 2018 | Updated 6:07 p.m. PT May 16, 2018
Using measurements from Earth-observing satellites, NASA scientists have tracked changes in water supplies worldwide and they’ve found that in many places humans are dramatically altering the global water map.
The team of researchers analyzed 14 years of data from NASA’s twin GRACE satellites and studied regions that have seen large increases or decreases in the total amount of freshwater, including water in lakes and rivers and water stored in underground...
Ag Today May 16, 2018
A ban on Delta tunnels lawsuits slips into federal spending plan
BY EMILY CADEI AND RYAN SABALOW, The Sacramento Bee
May 15, 2018 11:53 AM
Updated May 15, 2018 01:10 PM
With the California Delta tunnels proposal facing an uncertain future, one of the state's Republican congressmen has come up with a way to help the multibillion water project, known formally as California WaterFix, reach completion: ban environmental lawsuits.
On Tuesday, veteran Rep. Ken Calvert of Riverside County released a 142-page draft spending bill for fiscal year 2019 for the Interior Department and related agencies.
Tucked into the bill, on page 141, is a brief provision...
Ag Today May 15, 2018
Exports from California Ports Surged in April on Trade Unease
By Erica E. Phillips
May 14, 2018 5:44 p.m. ET
LOS ANGELES—Shipments from the biggest U.S. West Coast ports to Asia are picking up steam in a sign that companies are stepping up orders ahead of anticipated new trade restrictions.
Loaded container exports from the neighboring ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach jumped 12% year-over-year in April from a year ago to 306,503 20-foot equivalent units, or TEUs, a shipping-industry measure of shipment volume. That made April the biggest month for exports at the largest seaport complex in North America since March 2017.
Ag Today May 14, 2018
Farmworkers need to be paid for more than just picking the crops, says Washington Supreme Court
SEATTLE — The Washington Supreme Court has ruled that farmworkers paid a piece rate as they labor in fields and orchards must get additional wages for their other tasks during the course of a workday.
The 5-4 decision released Thursday affects wages in a vital part of the state’s economy: the agricultural industry that produces more than $10 billion of crops and livestock annually while employing nearly 100,000 farmworkers.
While the ruling is considered a victory for farmworkers, its practical effect is far from clear. The plaintiffs’...
Ag Today May 11, 2018
Gov. Brown orders major offensive against wildfire threat
By Peter Fimrite May 10, 2018 Updated: May 10, 2018 8:29pm
Gov. Jerry Brown, alarmed by reports that climate change is dramatically increasing fire risk, on Thursday ordered an all-out attack by scientists, land managers, industry and the public on the dangerous conditions that helped spread last year’s devastating wildfires.
The executive order will launch a slate of projects to improve forest conditions and increase fire protection, including a doubling of the amount of land managed by controlled burns, tree thinning and other forest-management tactics.
The extra work would be financed with $96 million the governor...
Ag Today May 10, 2018
Spoiled Relations: U.S. Goods Stuck at China Ports as Tensions Heat Up
Fruits are at risk of rotting, while Ford vehicles may now need to be disassembled for Chinese customs officials
By Lucy Craymer, Joanne Chiu and Yoko Kubota
May 10, 2018 9:11 a.m. ET
Ford cars and California fruits are among the goods piling up at Chinese ports, the result of increased inspections that business groups say is China’s way of reminding the U.S. how important its market is to American exporters.
Navel oranges, lemons and cherries from California, along with American apples, have been sitting at Chinese wharves for longer than normal as...
Ag Today May 9, 2018
San Jose water agency approves up to $650 million for Jerry Brown’s Delta tunnels project
By PAUL ROGERS | firstname.lastname@example.org | Bay Area News Group
PUBLISHED: May 8, 2018 at 1:35 pm | UPDATED: May 9, 2018 at 4:34 am
In a significant boost for Gov. Jerry Brown’s $17 billion plan to build two massive tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley Delta to more easily move water south, Silicon Valley’s largest water agency Tuesday endorsed the project and voted to commit up to $650 million to help pay for it.
With a 4-3 vote after a packed four-hour meeting, the Santa Clara Valley Water...
Ag Today May 8, 2018
Sites Reservoir official: Commission ‘undervalues’ project’s benefits
Posted: Monday, May 7, 2018 8:17 pm - Appeal-Democrat
One billion dollars isn’t enough, Sites Reservoir supporters say.
Despite being eligible for $1 billion in Proposition 1 funds from the state, a top official with the group spearheading Sites Reservoir said the state is failing to see the big picture in terms of the benefits the project would provide California, namely its endangered salmon.
“Although the Sites Project Authority appreciates the increase in eligible state funding, we remain firm in our belief that the state is missing a significant opportunity to flexibly manage water for the benefit...