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Ag Today July 13, 2017

House passes Valadao water bill GROW Act would ease pumping restrictions By: Evan Onstot Posted: Jul 12, 2017 11:55 PM PDT Updated: Jul 12, 2017 11:55 PM PDT   WASHINGTON, D.C. - You can call it a step forward today for farmers frustrated by what many consider overbearing water regulations. The House of Representatives passed a water bill Wednesday that eases pumping regulations and speeds up storage projects. Hanford Congressman David Valadao says the Gaining Responsibility on Water Act, or GROW Act will bring water to Valley farmers.  Valadao is the bill's author, and argued for its passage on the House floor using a series of large posters as slides, including...

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Ag Today July 12, 2017

Fish or farms? A new battle rages over California water BY ANSHU SIRIPURAPU WASHINGTON - Fish or farms? The House this week will tackle the question, which for years has triggered a tug-of-war between growers and environmentalists. It plans to vote on a Republican-authored plan aimed at sending more of northern California’s water to the Central Valley farmers who say they badly need it. But California’s two U.S. senators, both Democrats, vow to block the bill in that chamber, saying it would bypass environmental safeguards and override state law. Gov. Jerry Brown also opposes the bill. The bill, said Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., in an...

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Ag Today July 11, 2017

Halt to California fire prevention fee part of new climate change plan BY TARYN LUNA AND JIM MILLER Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders have released legislation to extend the state’s climate-change-fighting system for another decade, setting off a scramble for votes amid concerns that the compromise will not do enough to address the problem. “The Legislature is taking action to curb climate change and protect vulnerable communities from industrial poisons,” Brown said. The legislation, published in tandem with a separate measure addressing air quality, continues the program through 2030. The cap-and-trade bill includes a suspension of the state’s fire prevention fee, a controversial charge on...

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Ag Today July 10, 2017

New law aims to make America more prepared to fight agro-terrorism BY ERIC ENGLERT/ MEDILL NEWS SERVICE WASHINGTON The agriculture department was unprepared to respond to an attack on the nation’s food supply, an agency report found earlier this year. A new law now aims to correct that problem, and fast. Government efforts to control agro-terrorism have lagged badly, an agriculture department report earlier this year found. Agro-terrorism is the “deliberate introduction of an animal or plant disease for the purpose of generating fear, causing economic loss, or undermining social stability,” according to a recent Congressional Research Service report. Under a measure approved overwhelmingly by...

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Ag Today July 7, 2017

States sue over EPA's decision to keep pesticide on market BY MICHAEL BIESECKERAssociated Press WASHINGTON Several states are seeking to join a legal challenge to a Trump administration decision to keep a widely used pesticide on the market despite studies showing it can harm children's brains. Led by New York, the coalition filed a motion Wednesday to intervene in a legal fight over the continued spraying of chlorpyrifos on food. Massachusetts, Maryland, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia are also seeking to join the suit pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco. The states claim that Environmental...

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Ag Today July 6, 2017

Kamala Harris works to forge relationship with Central Valley Cathleen Decker, Los Angeles Times, JULY 5, 2017 The drought may be over in the minds of urban Californians, quite literally washed away by huge accumulations of rain last year that filled reservoirs and left the state’s mountains covered with snow even now. But the farmers and others in the Central Valley, veterans of multiple drought-and-flood cycles, know the reprieve is only temporary. On Wednesday they pressed new U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris to work to ensure a more reliable source of water for the nation’s most bountiful farming region. “This area is drying on the...

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Ag Today July 5, 2017

California drought: Plans advance to enlarge major Bay Area reservoir Los Vaqueros Reservoir would get $800 million expansion if proposal is approved By PAUL ROGERS | progers@bayareanewsgroup.com | Bay Area News Group PUBLISHED: July 3, 2017 at 3:17 pm | UPDATED: July 5, 2017 at 3:08 pm Working to expand water supplies for California’s next drought, a coalition of 12 Bay Area water agencies took a significant step Monday toward an $800 million expansion of one of the largest reservoirs in the Bay Area — Los Vaqueros Reservoir in the rolling hills near the Alameda-Contra Costa county line. The plan would raise the reservoir’s earthen dam by 55 feet, to 273 feet high....

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Ag Today July 3, 2017

Labor shortages leave some California growers searching for workers BY ROBERT RODRIGUEZ Reports of worker shortages and millions of dollars in crop losses are getting lots of attention these days. One case that has raised some concern comes from a grower-shipper association in Santa Barbara County that estimates at least $13 million in strawberries, broccoli, leafy greens and other produce was left in the field to rot last year because there weren’t enough workers to harvest them, according to the Santa Barbara Independent. One grower in Mendocino County, desperate for workers, arranged a deal with the local sheriff to have low-risk inmates from the county...

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Ag Today June 30, 2017

How climate change could threaten the water supply for millions of Californians BY DALE KASLER AND RYAN SABALOW When it comes to California and climate change, the predictions are staggering: coastal airports besieged by floodwaters, entire beaches disappearing as sea levels rise. Another disturbing scenario is brewing inland, in the sleepy backwaters of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. It’s a threat to the Delta’s ecosystem that could swallow up a significant portion of California’s water supply. Scientists from government and academia say rising sea levels caused by climate change will bring more salt water into the Delta, the hub of California’s water-delivery network. As a result, millions...

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Ag Today June 29, 2017

Why farmers are anxious about NAFTA Uncertainty over trade is the last thing they need The Economist Jun 29th 2017| CHICAGO “I HAVE always told you that I will either renegotiate or terminate NAFTA,” said President Donald Trump at a recent rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He had been about to pull out of the North American Free-Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico, he explained. But then he got a nice call from Justin Trudeau, Canada’s prime minister, and another from the president (“good guy”) of Mexico asking him to negotiate: “and I am always willing to negotiate.” Even so, Mr Trump insisted, NAFTA...

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