Ag Today December 19, 2017
U.S. Businesses Find Welcome Surprises in Tax Bill
Last-minute changes to the tax-overhaul bill dropped key provisions that most worried companies while raising other costs slightly
By Theo Francis
Updated Dec. 19, 2017 5:46 a.m. ET
The final tax bill offers much of what large companies hoped to gain from the Republican overhaul: the billboard corporate rate was knocked down, cuts were accelerated and key credits were preserved.
“Overall, the business community is very pleased with the bill,” said Neil Bradley, chief policy officer at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “If someone would have said 11 months ago, by the end of the year we’d able to...
Ag Today December 18, 2017
Valley's canal continues to sink, price tag could rise
Luis Hernandez, firstname.lastname@example.orgPublished 8:52 a.m. PT Dec. 18, 2017
TERRA BELLA – A portion of one of the Valley's largest waterway is sinking. It's getting worse each month and while the water levels drop, the price tag rises.
Earlier this year, the Friant Water Authority reported measurements that showed a nearly 3-foot drop in the Friant-Kern Canal's elevation in some places.
This summer, a second measurement showed an additional 5-inch drop since April — meaning the subsidence occurred at a rate of one inch per month.
“These findings are not entirely unexpected,” said Doug DeFlitch, Friant...
Ag Today December 15, 2017
Six Merced County dairies robbed overnight. Suspects sought.
BY ROB PARSONS
DECEMBER 14, 2017 11:07 AM -UPDATED DECEMBER 14, 2017 11:11 AM
Two men robbed six rural dairies in Merced County early Thursday, assaulting several employees, but making off with very little in the way of money and property, the Sheriff's Office reported.
All six robberies were reported between 2 and 3 a.m. Thursday, deputies said in a news release.
"The suspects entered the milking barns at the dairies and demanded that workers hand over their personal property," deputies said. "There were threats by the suspects that they were armed. The suspects also physically assaulted...
Ag Today December 14, 2017
As the Thomas fire burned closer, he worked to save a cherished Carpinteria ranch
By Ruben Vives Los Angeles Times
For Arnulfo Basave, life on a Carpinteria ranch filled with avocado and fruit trees has been sweet….But this week, Basave feared the Thomas fire would claim the place that has meant so much to him. He did everything he could to save it….Basave evacuated the ranch on Dec. 6 but kept returning to take care of the property. He spent most of the last week watering trees, and spraying his trailer home and the home of the ranch owners, who were vacationing...
Ag Today December 13, 2017
Dry weather continues in California. Time to start worrying about another drought?
BY DALE KASLER AND RYAN SABALOW
DECEMBER 12, 2017 01:13 PM/UPDATED DECEMBER 12, 2017 07:05 PM
December has been bone dry in California, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to get much wetter by the time the 2018 rolls around.
Precipitation levels in Sacramento and most major California cities are below average for this time of year. The Sierra Nevada snowpack is just 37 percent of normal. The U.S. Drought Monitor says about one-third of California is either facing moderate drought conditions or is abnormally dry, with all of the dry...
Ag Today December 12, 2017
California losing 2 million trees a month as drought-related plague drags on
By Kurtis Alexander Updated 5:13 pm, Monday, December 11, 2017
California’s forests are seeing a continued die-off of trees even a year after last year’s heavy rains ended the state’s crippling drought.
The U.S. Forest Service announced Monday that 27 million trees died over the past 13 months after five dry years left them severely dehydrated and vulnerable to bark beetle attack.
The unprecedented casualties, which run rampant across the Sierra Nevada as well as parts of the coast, have turned patches of forest into a somber rust color for mile after mile. The mortality...
Ag Today December 11, 2017
Farm hands worked in Ventura County despite Thomas Fire smoke
Leslie Berestein Rojas | December 11, 2017
As the Thomas Fire raged in Ventura County and smoke thickened the air in the past week, some farm workers continued to toil in local fields without face protection, according to field worker advocates.
State regulations do not explicitly require that employers equip farm workers with masks and other protective equipment, although they are advised to consider doing so.
Smoke from the fire that sparked a week ago and scorched about 200,000 acresdrifted over a large swath of Ventura County. Officials have warned people in the fire areas to avoid...
Ag Today, December 8, 2017
California looks at dumping gas tax for per-mile fee as cars use less fuel
December 8, 2017 3:55 AM, BY TONY BIZJAK, The Sacramento Bee
Weeks into a new gas tax hike, California transportation officials said Thursday they are studying ways to charge drivers based on how many miles they drove since their last fill-up rather than the amount of fuel they use.
The problem? California drivers are choosing such fuel-efficient cars that the state fears it will be deprived of enough road construction revenues in the long run.
The Caltrans study – the California Road Charge Pilot Program report – is billed as a way for...
Ag Today December 7, 2017
Johansson elected state Farm Bureau president
By Staff Reports POSTED: 12/06/17, 4:38 PM PST | UPDATED: 9 HRS AGO
Garden Grove >> The top two leaders in the California Farm Bureau Federation are now from Butte and Glenn Counties, with Jamie Johansson of Oroville elected as president on Wednesday at the federation’s annual meeting in Garden Grove.
He is the 16th Farm Bureau president, replacing Paul Wenger of Modesto.
Johansson operates Lodestar Farms olive oil company, and co-founded the Sierra Oro Farm Trail Association. He is a former member of the Oroville City Council.
He has served as a statewide Farm Bureau officer for eight years. He...
Ag Today December 1, 2017
Delta tunnels: Cost study coming, state says
By Alex Breitler
Record Staff Writer
Posted Nov 30, 2017 at 6:54 PMUpdated Nov 30, 2017 at 6:54 PM
WALNUT GROVE — A long-awaited study on the costs and benefits of Gov. Jerry Brown’s Delta tunnels should be finished by next spring, a state official said Thursday after an independent audit concluded such a study should have already been done.
The tunnels have been in the planning stage for 11 years, but state officials have never completed a comprehensive analysis of whether the project pencils out financially. Such a study could answer basic questions like whether the tunnels will benefit the state as a whole and whether they should be...