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Ag Today November 9, 2017

Ag Secretary Shows a Softer Side on Immigration in Talks With California Farmers By Vanessa Rancano NOVEMBER 8, 2017 When Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue was governor of Georgia, he enacted one of the harshest immigration laws in the nation. The crackdown on undocumented immigrants worked so well to drive them from the state that Georgia farmers had nobody to pick their crops come harvest. Fruits and vegetables rotted in fields and farmers lost millions. But on his first visit to California since joining the Trump administration, Perdue indicated a different approach to immigration. In meetings with Central Valley congressmen and farmers, Perdue heard about growing difficulties finding enough workers to harvest crops....

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Ag Today November 8, 2017

California bans use of some farming pesticides near schools Associated Press NOVEMBER 07, 2017 5:43 PM, SAN FRANCISCO  California has banned farmers from using certain pesticides near schools and day care centers under a new rule announced Tuesday that regulators said is among the toughest in the U.S. Under the new rule, California farmers will be prohibited from spraying pesticides within a quarter mile (0.4 kilometers) of public K-12 schools and licensed daycare centers from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the school week, the state Department of Pesticide Regulation said in a statement. The new regulations take effect Jan. 1 and apply to crop dusters...

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Ag Today November 7, 2017

Wild pheasants disappearing in California Damon Arthur, Record Searchlight Published 4:43 p.m. PT Nov. 6, 2017 Things aren’t looking good for wild pheasants in California, where populations of the colorful game birds have fallen to less than 10 percent of what they were in the late 1990s. With pheasant hunting season opening Saturday, state officials note populations of the bird have fallen dramatically over the past 19 years. Hunters reported shooting 4,828 pheasant roosters in 1998 on public lands in the Central Valley. But that number fell to 461 last year, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. The state keeps track of...

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Ag Today November 6, 2017

Trump is ‘bombastic’ but might keep NAFTA, ag secretary says in visit to Modesto BY JOHN HOLLAND jholland@modbee.com NOVEMBER 05, 2017 6:35 P Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue heard two main messages from farmers in Sunday’s visit to Modesto — keep export barriers down and lighten up on regulation. President Donald Trump’s top farm official heard concerns also about labor and water supplies in a question-and-answer session at the Modesto Junior College West Campus. Perdue, a former Georgia governor, said he shares the Republican president’s disdain for overregulation. Audience members said they want to see safe food and a healthy environment, but not federal rules that go...

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Ag Today November 3, 2017

Paying the price at the pumps JULISSA ZAVALA Staff Reporter Nov 3, 2017 Updated 4 min ago HANFORD — Around lunchtime Thursday, cars began to pull into Buford Star Mart gas station and drivers began fueling up their cars. The only thing different about the normal, everyday scene was customers were paying 12 more cents to the gallon at the pump. “A lot of us sometimes barely have enough money to put gas in our vehicles, and they’re just making it even more difficult,” said customer Andrew Nollan. “That 12 cents adds up every gallon.” Senate Bill 1 was signed in April by Gov. Jerry Brown and...

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Ag Today November 2, 2017

California Farmers: Immigration Uncertainty Costing Millions In Lost Productivity November 1, 2017 6:59 PM By Angela Musallam YOLO COUNTY (CBS13) — California is facing a farmworker shortage, and the blame is landing on the country’s changing immigration landscape. Almost 70 percent of farmers around California are reporting labor shortages this year, according to a survey by the California Farm Bureau Yolo County farmer Jim Durst says he blames his shortage on President Donald Trump. “When people don’t feel safe, and they’ve created a level of hostility in our country, people go into hiding they become incognito,” said Jim Durst. Durst has been farming for the last 30 years, and it’s the first time he’s experienced a...

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Ag Today November 1, 2017

California's gas tax increases Wednesday, and the political fallout is likely to spill over into 2018 elections By Patrick McGreevy, October 31, 2017 Los Angeles Times   A state gas tax increase of 12 cents per gallon kicks in Wednesday, and while the immediate impact will mean less money in motorists’ wallets, the long-term political fallout could roll into next year, when the higher levies are expected to be an issue in elections across California. But the vitriol between Democrats who supported the new taxes and Republicans who opposed them kicked up months ago, well before the first newly taxed gallon will be pumped tomorrow. The...

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Ag Today October 31, 2017

California’s first big winter snowstorm headed for Sierra Nevada By Paul Rogers, Monterey Herald POSTED: 10/30/17, 5:32 PM PDT Lake Tahoe >> It’s only Halloween, but winter is on the way. Two storm systems moving out of the Gulf of Alaska are on track to bring the first substantial snow of the 2017-18 winter season to the Sierra Nevada, starting Friday, and widespread rainfall to the Central Coast over the weekend. Forecasters said Monday that gusty winds and 1 to 2 feet of snow are likely Saturday and Sunday along California’s main mountain passes, including Donner Pass near Lake Tahoe, Tioga Pass at Yosemite, Ebbetts Pass...

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Ag Today October 30, 2017

Some tough choices — and pushback — along the proposed bullet train route Ralph Vartabedian, LA times Urban neighborhoods, protected wetlands, olive orchards, a federal reservoir and a few sleepy towns will go by the passenger windows of the first California bullet train when it pulls out of San Jose on its way to the Central Valley. But before that inaugural journey planned for 2025, state officials — already facing financing and technical challenges — will have to deal wit opposition from land owners and expensive mitigation demands from others along the way. The bullet train’s exact route will not be set until environmental impact reports are...

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Ag Today October 27, 2017

ACLU: State pesticide report doesn't cover risks to farmworkers enough Joe Szydlowski, The CalifornianPublished 7:45 a.m. PT Oct. 27, 2017 A new state report about the dangers of an aerial-sprayed agricultural pesticide is catching heat after critics say it doesn't dig deep enough on risks to farmworkers. The California Department of Pesticide Regulation's draft report on chlorpyrifos, which is used on fields in the Salinas Valley, assessed the risks from the pesticide earlier this year. But the report needed to delve into its risks for farmworkers, who are especially vulnerable to the chemical drifting from its original field after being sprayed, said Abre Conner, staff attorney...

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