Ag Today

AG Today

Updated Daily

Ag Today September 29, 2016

Climate fight targeting cows may reshape California dairies By Kurtis Alexander September 29, 2016 Bob Giacomini, owner of Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company greets is cows on the farm, in Marin, California, on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016. Dairy farmer Bob Giacomini, 79, is ahead of his time, even if he didn’t mean to be. Eight years ago, the North Bay native bought a custom motor, generator and pipeline to make electricity from an unusual source — cow manure — at his ranch along Tomales Bay. The hope was that the renewable energy would save him a few bucks and perhaps bolster the environmental bona fides of...

Read More

Ag Today September 28, 2016

Winery mergers and acquisitions expected to continue on California’s North Coast BILL SWINDELL THE PRESS DEMOCRAT | September 27, 2016, 7:27PM NAPA — The North Coast wine industry will continue to experience mergers and acquisitions over the next few years as major wine companies seek to expand their presence in the premium American wine market, two top executives said Tuesday. Roger Nabedian, general manager for the premium wine division at E&J Gallo Winery, and Hugh Reimers, president of Jackson Family Wines, said they expect more deals as the premium segment of the wine market continues its strong growth. North Coast vintners have been successful in...

Read More

Ag Today September 27, 2016

Costa, McCarthy, ask to end log export ban Visalia Times Delta John Lindt September 26, 2016 Valley Congressman Jim Costa is asking US Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack to consider lifting a ban on log exports from Forest Service lands in the western states. The idea has been promoted by Tulare County Supervisor Steve Worthley as perhaps the only way to clear the massive and growing backlog of millions of dead trees in the Sierra including Tulare County. Costa, a Democrat from Fresno, says he will work to get support for the idea from other members of the Valley congressional delegation. Worthley says he has spoken to Kevin McCarthy’s office,...

Read More

Ag Today September 26

North Coast wine business notes 'unintended negative consequences of well-intended legislation’ JEFF QUACKENBUSH NORTH BAY BUSINESS JOURNAL | September 26, 2016, 6:59AM When California recently overturned eight decades of U.S. agricultural labor policy by becoming the first state in the nation to approve overtime for farmworkers, it may have set the stage for more challenges for the hard-working crews who bring the North Coast’s world-prized winegrapes to wineries where the magic happens, according to those in the business. Gov. Jerry Brown on Sept. 12 signed the nation’s first law dropping the federal agricultural exemption for paying overtime basically beyond eight hours worked a day...

Read More

Ag Today Sepetember 22, 2016

REGION UP IN ARMS OVER WATER SCALE BACK PLAN STUDY By Jeff Benziger-The Ceres Courier Officials from nearly every city and water agency within the immediate three-county region of the Valley are livid over a new environmental study that could eventually result in the state flushing more valuable water from reservoirs into the San Joaquin Delta. By creating unimpaired flows of 40 to 50 percent from Don Pedro, Exchequer and New Melones dams - thereby not allowing use on crops - the state would create disaster for the Valley, they say. The state proposes to take a significant amount of water from the...

Read More

Ag Today September 21, 2016

Clover Stornetta Farms to make all its conventional milk products non GMO ROBERT DIGITALE THE PRESS DEMOCRAT | September 20, 2016, 7:25PM Petaluma-based Clover Stornetta Farms next year will start to make all its dairy products free of genetically modified organisms. In the first quarter of 2017, the Bay Area’s largest dairy processor will sell a new product, “Non-GMO Project Verified” conventional milk, President/CEO Marcus Benedetti said Tuesday. Clover will start its transition with all conventional milk sold in half-gallon cartons, including the various weights from nonfat to whole milk. Over the next two years the company will switch all its other liquid milk products,...

Read More

Ag Today September 20, 2016

Monterey County water officials: Releasing more water from South County lakes a bad idea By Jim Johnson, Monterey Herald SALINAS >> At odds over the operation of the Salinas Valley Water Project and the South County reservoirs during a historic drought, an influential group of Salinas Valley agri-businesses and the Monterey County Water Resources Agency find themselves increasingly facing off. On Tuesday, the disagreement, which has sparked a legal claim from the Salinas Valley Water Coalition alleging mismanagement of the water project and the reservoirs, came to a head during the county water agency’s board of directors meeting. Assistant general manager Rob Johnson...

Read More

Ag Today September 19, 2016

EPA Weighs In On Glyphosate, Says It Likely Doesn't Cause Cancer September 17, 20169:49 AM ET Seth Perlman/AP No chemical used by farmers, it seems, gets more attention than glyphosate, also known by its trade name, Roundup. That's mainly because it is a cornerstone of the shift to genetically modified crops, many of which have been modified to tolerate glyphosate. This, in turn, persuaded farmers to rely on this chemical for easy control of their weeds. (Easy, at least, until weeds evolved to become immune to glyphosate, but that's a different story.) Glyphosate had been considered among the safest of herbicides. So it was...

Read More

Ag Today September 15, 2016

Monterey County makes way for solar panels on farmland. By Ana Ceballos- Monterey County Weekly In the Salinas Valley, rows of crops stretch for miles, undisturbed. Here, in the Salad Bowl of the World, county officials are fiercely protective of keeping farmland in farming, but that could change as renewable energy gets more popular. County officials began deliberating over questions about solar panels on farmland when D’Arrigo Bros. applied last year for a permit to install 15 acres of solar panels on a 284-acre parcel. Without guidelines instructing them otherwise, the county Planning Department granted the permit, but also began to plan ahead,...

Read More

Ag Today, September 14, 2016

Humboldt County farmers weigh in on new OT law By Manny Araujo, maraujo@times-standard.com Humboldt County farm and dairy owners this week warned that a farmworker overtime bill signed into law on Monday will mean less money for individual farmhands as businesses look to reduce labor costs. Gov. Jerry Brown signed an agriculture labor law on Monday that will soon allow farm workers across the state to earn the same overtime pay as other workers on the job 40 hours a week or eight hours a day, ending a nearly 80-year-long battle between labor activists and farmers. Touted as a victory by United Farm Workers...

Read More