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Ag Today November 10, 2016

Immigrants fear the dawn of a Trump presidency By Claudia Meléndez Salinas, Monterey Herald POSTED: 11/09/16, 6:03 PM PST | UPDATED: 6 HRS AGO SALINAS >> Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump campaigned on the promise to build a wall with Mexico to prevent illegal immigration, to deport all undocumented immigrants and to confiscate the money they send to their families to pay for his wall. So when Salinas immigrant workers woke up Wednesday to the news Trump had won the presidential election, their dread turned into fear. “People asked if they should start packing,” said Chui Ramirez, a radio DJ with Radio Bilingüe, about fielding calls from scared listeners...

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Ag Today November 9, 2016

Measure M, proposed GMO ban in Sonoma County, ahead at the polls DEREK MOORE THE PRESS DEMOCRAT | November 8, 2016, 8:57PM   A proposed ban on genetically-modified crops in Sonoma County led in results early Wednesday. With 459 of 459 precincts reporting, Measure M held 56 percent of the 'yes' vote. “We’re watching and waiting,” said Karen Hudson, the Rohnert Park-based coordinator of Citizens for Healthy Farms and Families, from Petaluma’s Tara Firma Farms, where Measure M supporters gathered Tuesday night to watch election results. Measure M would ban all genetically-modified crops and seeds from being grown or used in unincorporated areas of the county. If...

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Ag Today November 8, 2016

Dozens of schools may have served contaminated cucumbers BY STEVEN MAYER smayer@bakersfield.com Kern County public health officials reported Monday that certain lots of cucumbers delivered to multiple locations in Bakersfield — including as many as 26 schools, three hospitals and two restaurants — have been recalled due to potential salmonella contamination. While the information may have hit the streets too late to prevent possible illness, there have been no foodborne illnesses reported as a result of the potential salmonella contamination, said Michelle Corson, a spokeswoman at the Kern County Department of Public Health Services. As many as 19 elementary schools in the Bakersfield City...

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Ag Today November 7, 2016

California's drought divide rainy north, dry south BY ELLEN KNICKMEYER AND AMY TAXIN Associated Press SAN FRANCISCO Among the changing red and yellow fall leaves of Yosemite National Park, nature artist Penny Otwell is marveling at the fullest rushing waterfalls and rivers she's ever painted there in autumn. But down in the dry Southern California suburbs, David Cantuna laments the same dead and dying grass in his backyard. California's historic drought finally is easing in parts of the north, thanks to October rains that were three or more times the norm. "I've been here 53 years and I've never seen it like this," said Otwell, busy...

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Ag Today November 4, 2016

Sonoma County voters consider banning GMOs By Filipa A. Ioannou November 3, 2016 Updated: November 3, 2016 5:50pm   A hundred years ago, Petaluma was known as the “Egg Capital of the World” — the “City of a Million Hens.” Today, Petaluma is a town of nearly 60,000 residents, but farming is still central to Sonoma County’s identity, with its agritourism, hundreds of organic farms, and more than $756 million in crops. The county is home to thousands of acres of apples and wine grapes, and more than six times as many laying hens as people. But some organic farmers and activists say all of that is...

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Ag Today November 3, 2016

Congressmen oppose expansion of Cascade-Siskiyou monuments Bartholomew D Sullivan , Statesman Journal7:38 p.m. PDT November 1, 2016 WASHINGTON – Three members of the House Natural Resources Committee and Oregon Congressman Greg Walden wrote to President Barack Obama on Tuesday to suggest his naming the proposed Sierra Nevada National Monument and expanding the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument would be “utterly irresponsible” at a time of drought and wildfire. Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop joined California U.S. Reps. Tom McClintock, R-Roseville; Doug LaMalfa, R-Richvale and Walden in asking Obama not to name the monuments and instead focus “on removing dead and dying trees, drastically reducing the...

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Ag Today November 2, 2016

In parched Central California, water trumps other election issues Jeff Daniels | @jeffdanielsca Even with the presidential race tightening, one issue in a drought-parched region of California has remained constant — water and the lack of it. "Water right now is the number one issue for us in the Central Valley," said Republican Rep. David Valadao, whose congressional district includes some of the state's largest agricultural production but has been hit hard by the 5-year-old drought. The drought impact goes beyond agriculture in the San Joaquin Valley. Water tables in rural communities in parts of Fresno, Tulare, Kings and Kern counties have dropped and residential...

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Ag Today November 1, 2016

US approves 2 types of genetically engineered potatoes Originally published October 31, 2016 at 10:43 am Updated October 31, 2016 at 12:41 pm By KEITH RIDLER The Associated Press BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved commercial planting of two types of potatoes that are genetically engineered to resist the pathogen that caused the Irish potato famine. The approval announced Friday covers Idaho-based J.R. Simplot Co.’s Ranger Russet and Atlantic varieties of the company’s second generation of Innate potatoes. The company says the potatoes will also have reduced bruising and black spots, enhanced storage capacity, and a reduced amount of a chemical created when...

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Ag Today October 31, 2016

Farm Beat: Healthy soil teems with life, experts say at Modesto conference BY JOHN HOLLAND Farmers have fertilized for much of the past century with nitrogen obtained from petroleum and phosphorous mined from rocks. Experts meeting in Modesto this week suggested looking at something else right under our feet – the microbes that can enhance the soil if given a chance. Healthy ground has lots of plant residues that the tiny creatures break down into nutrients for the next crop. They also help make the dirt porous enough for proper movement of water and air. “Microbes are critical in creating soil structure,” said Kate Scow,...

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Ag Today October 28, 2016

In 3 years, 1,500 farmworkers suffered injuries at night. California now eyeing regulations Gustavo Solis , The Desert Sun3:40 p.m. PDT October 27, 2016 Because there are no state regulations requiring growers to provide adequate lighting for farmworkers picking crops at night, the workers have developed their own system. Each farmworker buys a headlamp with two different colored lights – one red and one white. They use the white light while picking crops and the red light while taking a break. Workers sleep on the field during their breaks, so the red light tells drivers not to run them over. The red light also has an...

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