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Ag Today August 10, 2017

'Broken' immigration system leaves Californian farmers short of labour As Donald Trump pushes for tougher immigration policies, farmers in America's breadbasket By Jeremy B White, The Independent, UK   In America’s most abundant agricultural region, where immigrant pickers have long sustained the economy, many farmers are less concerned with the illegal immigration decried by Donald Trump than with finding enough people to harvest their crops. As Mr Trump pushes the tougher immigration policies that helped propel him to the oval office, California farmers continue their years-long wait for a federal solution to a lingering labour shortage. “The United States hasn't had major immigration reform since 1986,”...

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Ag Today August 9, 2017

Millions in federal funds to encourage low-income Californians to shop at farmers markets Sacramento Bee By Hannah Knowles A $3.9 million federal grant awarded to the California Department of Food and Agriculture will help the state expand a program that encourages low-income people to shop at farmers markets, state officials announced this week. In July, the department launched the California Nutrition Incentive Program, or CNIP, which rewards recipients of CalFresh food stamps who buy fruits and vegetables grown in the state by doubling the value of their vouchers when they purchase at 339 farmers markets throughout the state. The program’s latest infusion of funds,...

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Ag Today August 8, 2017

Let Forest Fires Burn? What the Black-Backed Woodpecker Knows BUCK MEADOWS, Calif. — With long strides, Chad T. Hanson plunged into a burned-out forest, his boots kicking up powdery ash. Blackened, lifeless trees stretched toward an azure sky. Dr. Hanson, an ecologist, could not have been more delighted. “Any day out here is a happy day for me, because this is where the wildlife is,” he said with a grin. On cue, a pair of birds appeared, swooping through the air and alighting on dead trees to attack them like jackhammers. They were black-backed woodpeckers, adapted by millions of years of evolution to...

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Ag Today August

Assemblymen reach across aisle for agricultur Posted: Saturday, August 5, 2017 11:00 am By John Bays/News-Sentinel Staff Writer On paper, Assemblymen Jim Cooper, a Democrat from Elk Grove representing California’s 9th District and Heath Flora, a Republican from Ripon representing the 12th District should be political adversaries. Despite their opposing party affiliations, the two found common ground in both their history as public safety employees and their commitment to advocating for California’s agriculture industry. Cooper, a second-term assemblyman, served in the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department for 30 years, reaching the rank of Captain, and spent 14 years as Elk Grove’s founding mayor and councilman before joining...

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Ag Today August 4, 2017

Central Valley farmers deal with the summer heat August 3, 2017   Tyler A. Takeda, Madera Tribune   With temperatures on the rise, Central Valley farmers have many ways to fight the heat in regards to their employees.   According to Jay Majil, president of Creekside Farming and president of the Madera County Farm Bureau board, OSHA (Occupational, Safety and Hazard Administration) regulations kick in when it’s hotter than 85 degrees. Basically, those regulations are in affect in the Valley from May through late October.   “After 85 degrees, we have to have shade tents up, cold water, able to allow employees to take rest breaks when it gets too...

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Ag Today August 3, 2017

Farmworkers may have been exposed to pesticide, Gosford Road closed south of Highway 119 BY JAMES BURGER jburger@bakersfield.com  August 2, 2017   Thirteen farm workers appear to have been exposed to pesticides as they worked in a garlic field on Gosford Road south of Highway 119 Wednesday morning. Initial reports of the incident, which came at 7 a.m., said 100 people were affected by symptoms including eye irritation and nausea. That turned out to be inaccurate. Kern County Fire Department Capt. Jason Knaggs said that around 60 to 70 people were working in the area. After arriving on scene, firefighters and staff of the Kern...

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Ag Today, August 2, 2017

Company’s plan to sell Mojave Desert groundwater opposed by L.A. water officials Ian James, The Desert SunPublished 11:59 p.m. PT Aug. 1, 2017 | Updated 12:07 a.m. PT Aug. 2, 2017   The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is opposing a company's proposal to pump groundwater in the Mojave Desert and sell it to Southern California cities. The L.A. water utility’s board weighed in against the project on Tuesday, recommending to Mayor Eric Garcetti and the City Council that they support a bill in the state Legislature requiring California to review the environmental impacts of the proposal. “We feel that the risks to the...

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Ag Today August 1, 2017

Rogers uses new tech to grow crops July 31, 2017 Cassandra Garibay Madera Tribune   Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune Tom Rogers shows off his irrigation box, which has allowed him to cut his water usage. Overlooking 175 acres of almond orchards that are utilizing advanced technology to irrigate and farm, sits a barn that was built in the 1870s. Tom Rogers and his brother Dan own the property that is a mix of the past and future of farming in California. The brothers inherited the property that was believed to be purchased by their grandfather in 1916. Yet, Tom Rogers credited his father for introducing his brother...

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AgToday July 31, 2017

Trump rolled back this environmental rule. California may replace it with a stronger one By Ryan Sabalow and Dale Kasler, Sacramento Bee President Donald Trump’s administration gave California land developers and farmers a reason to cheer when the White House last month rolled back controversial regulations for wetlands imposed during the Obama presidency. They may want to hold off on the celebration. A powerful California water agency is poised to adopt its own regulations that could protect more of the state’s wetlands from being plowed, paved over or otherwise damaged. Environmental groups are pressuring the State Water Resources Control Board to push back against Trump’s...

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Ag Today, July 2017

California Supreme Court ruling bolsters bullet train foes BY SUDHIN THANAWALAAssociated Press JULY 27, 2017 7:03 PM SAN FRANCISCO U.S. law does not allow state-owned rail projects to completely bypass California's strict environmental regulations, the state Supreme Court said Thursday in a decision that ensures further legal complications for the planned $64 billion bullet train between Los Angeles and San Francisco. The high court overturned a lower court ruling and gave renewed hope to those who have used the California Environmental Quality Act to challenge the high-speed rail project championed by Gov. Jerry Brown. "It basically says that California has a right to control its own...

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