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AG Today

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Ag Today December 20, 2018

Trump administration wants huge limits on food stamps — even though Congress said no [McClatchy News Service] A lot more people could have to meet work requirements for food aid under a Trump administration plan unveiled early Thursday, even as the president later in the day is expected to sign legislation that’s supposed to keep the current food aid eligibility system largely in place. The proposed administration limits will have a significant impact in California, where in the application period lasting from September to August 2019 55 of 58 counties qualified for federal exemptions from work rules….Under the new administration proposal,...

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Ag Today December 19, 2018

Farmers urged to support Trump rollback of water rules [Associated Press] The Trump administration on Tuesday called on farmers to throw their support behind a proposal to withdraw federal protections for many of the country's waterways and wetlands. Environmental Protection Agency acting administrator Andrew Wheeler and U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Purdue on Tuesday traveled to middle Tennessee to drum up support among the state's agricultural community in their pursuit to replace the Obama-era water protections….Wheeler stressed he anticipates the new EPA's plan will likely draw more than a million responses once it is up for public review in January….To counter potential...

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Ag Today December 18, 2018

U.S. prepares more payments to trade-hit farmers [Wall Street Journal] The U.S. government will make a second, multibillion dollar payment to U.S. farmers struggling against tariffs on American soybeans, pork and dairy products. The move soothed nerves in the U.S. Farm Belt, after some farmers wondered whether the payments would come as trade relations improved between the U.S. and top food-importing countries Mexico and China. Despite a new North American free trade deal signed in November and this month’s trade truce between the U.S. and China, farmers and livestock producers continue to face low prices for many of their goods, pushed...

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Ag Today December 17, 2018

California cedes water to feds in Delta deal with Trump [Sacramento Bee] Southern Californians could lose billions of gallons of water a year to Central Valley farmers under a deal Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration has struck with water officials working for President Donald Trump. There’s no guarantee the agreement with Trump will accomplish what Brown’s team is seeking: a lasting compromise on environmental regulations that could stave off significant water shortfalls for farms and cities across California….The various deals began to come to light Wednesday, as the state water board, made up of Brown appointees, was about to vote on a...

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Ag Today December 14, 2018

Tainted romaine lettuce traced to at least 1 California farm [Associated Press] U.S. health officials have traced a food poisoning outbreak from romaine lettuce to at least one farm in California. But they cautioned Thursday that other farms are likely involved in the E. coli outbreak and consumers should continue checking the label before purchasing romaine lettuce….Officials said a water reservoir at Adam Bros. Farms in Santa Barbara County tested positive for the bacterial strain and the owners are cooperating with U.S. officials. Officials from the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have not determined how the water...

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Ag Today December 13, 2018

State water board demands more water for fish [Los Angeles Times] In an unprecedented step, state regulators Wednesday adopted standards that would force San Francisco and several big San Joaquin Valley irrigation districts to give some of their river supplies back to the environment. But they also left the door open to agreements that would significantly undercut those flow requirements — underscoring the winding path that marks any significant change in California water policy. The vote by the State Water Resources Control Board is by no means the final say on the matter. Settlement discussions will continue next year. And water...

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Ag Today December 12, 2018

Fight over river flows heads to historic Water Board meeting in Sacramento [Modesto Bee] As all eyes turn to the State Water Resources Control Board on Wednesday, the board won’t have complete settlement agreements with Modesto-area irrigation districts to consider at a crucial meeting. At most, the districts and negotiators with the state Natural Resources Agency will have the basic framework of an agreement that’s an alternative to a state plan for river flows that is fiercely opposed by water users and local agencies in Stanislaus County....If there is a framework for an agreement, the state board could approve a much-disputed...

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Ag Today December 11, 2018

EPA chief calls for narrowing scope of Clean-Water Rule [Wall Street Journal] The head of the Environmental Protection Agency says a proposed rule change, to be released on Tuesday, gives states needed flexibility in managing their streams and wetlands, while reining in what he described as the overreach of the Obama administration….The change will appeal to some in the business world, and especially farming groups, who complained the Obama rule was so broad that it made it difficult to know when permits were needed. Restrictions regarding ditches and groundwater could easily end up restricting the way they use their land, said...

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Ag Today December 10, 2018

Delta tunnels won’t get green light before Gov. Brown leaves office. What will Gavin Newsom do? [Sacramento Bee] State officials pulled back on their effort Friday to secure a crucial green light for the Delta tunnels project, all but ensuring that the controversial plan to re-engineer the West Coast’s largest estuary will remain in limbo after Gov. Jerry Brown leaves office. Facing a likely defeat, the Department of Water Resources withdrew its petition to the Delta Stewardship Council to have the project deemed in compliance with what’s known as the the Delta Plan, a set of policy goals, mandated by state...

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Ag Today December 3, 2018

Huge Delta water deal backed by Dianne Feinstein, Jerry Brown, Kevin McCarthy [Sacramento Bee] California’s most senior Democrat and most powerful Republican in Washington are teaming up to extend a federal law designed to deliver more Northern California water south, despite the objections of some of the state’s environmentalists. While controversial, the language in their proposal could help settle the contentious negotiations currently underway in Sacramento on Delta water flows — the lifeblood of California agriculture as well as endangered salmon and smelt. Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Rep. Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield, the House majority leader, are leading the push...

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